With his team struggling a month ago, Matawan coach Steve Eisenstein probably wasn’t thinking much about the state tournament. But during the past couple of weeks, the Huskies have turned things up a few notches.
On Tuesday in the NJSIAA Central Group II tournament, Eisenstein’s squad held off a surge from Ewing in the bottom of the seventh inning to score a 9-8 victory.
Leading 9-6 heading into the seventh, the fifth-seeded Blue Devils (14-10) scored twice in their last at-bat and had runners on first and second, before shortstop Sam Buchman snagged a ground ball and stepped on second to end the contest.
The 13th-seeded Huskies (12-12) scored three times in the fifth to snap a 6-6 tie, when Jessie Norman, who was 2-for-4, swatted a two-run single and later scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Tracy Brereton. Hadassh Curry paced Matawan with a 3-for-4, two-RBI effort, and Buchman also went 2-for-4.
IN OTHER CENTRAL GAMES:
MANASQUAN 2, MONMOUTH 0: In a scoreless game through 5½ innings, the Warriors (14-9) scored their only two runs when Quinn Saito singled to score Katie Barnes, who had singled, and Megan Gilly brought in Aubrey Jones with another single, giving Manasquan a spot in the Central Group II quarterfinals.
Monmouth (13-10) threatened to grab the lead in the third inning, with a runner on third base and two out, but a ball hit to right field by Laura Douglas was scooped up by Shakyra Moore and Moore gunned out Douglas at first for the third out.
Olivia Galinis allowed just two hits and walked four to gain the victory, while Gilly and Allyson Latourette each had two hits.
MIDD. NORTH 4, LAWRENCE 1: The Lions (12-7) scored three times in the bottom of the sixth to score the victory in Central Group III. Kate Quinn went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Julie Gross, went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the sixth. Amanda Kanski got the win in the circle, allowing three hits and a walk while fanning four.
OCEAN 8, RED BANK 2: Also in Central Group III, the Spartans (18-5) got an RBI double off the bat of winning pitcher Gianna Kinhofer, a two-run double from Sabrina Batista and RBI singles from Emily Butler and Kelli Shapiro during a seven-run at-bat that blew open the contest against their Shore Conference Class B North foe. Jenna Ambrosio went 2-for-4, while Kinhofer whiffed nine, allowed six hits and no walks.
RARITAN 6, DELRAN 0: Winning pitcher Emily Schaffer slugged a pair of home runs while going 2-for-4 and fanned five, walked none and allowed two hits for the victory in the circle, as the Rockets (19-8) cruised past the Bears in Central Group II. Schaffer’s first dinger was a solo blast to center in the first inning, and she added a two-run shot to right in the second. Danielle Marino went 3-for-4 while Casey Bossert and Lindsey Carver each had two hits.
SOUTH HUNTERDON 2, POINT BEACH 1 (9 inn.): Catie Sherbo slugged an RBI double in the first to give the Garnet Gulls (11-8) the initial lead, and fanned five and walked just one, but it wasn’t enough, as the Eagles scored once in the fifth to tie the Central Group I contest, then scored again in the top of the ninth to win it. Alexa Russell, Eva Motto, Haylee Angelucci and Alex Barnes had the Gulls’ other hits.
HUNT. CENTRAL 6, JACKSON MEM. 1: Sarah Freyre singled, before Kayla Reale doubled and Jill Parinello singled in Freyre for the Jaguars’ only run in the sixth, as Memorial (12-7) fell short in Central Group IV. Kayla Molnar went 2-for-3, while Reale also ended with two hits.
SOMERVILLE 8, JACKSON LIB. 3: Amy Hickman went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Chelsea Czapkowski went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Laura Telfer went 2-for-3, but it wasn’t enough for the Lions (13-8) to keep pace with the Pioneers in Central Group IV.
Hickman scattered six hits and fanned four in the circle.