Junior pitcher Mason Spichiger posted a sacrifice fly and Kristen Cheesman added an RBI double as the second-seeded North Hunterdon High School softball team scored twice in the first inning en route to a 3-1 victory over third-seeded Westfield on Wednesday in the semifinals of the NJSIAA North 2 Group IV Tournament.
The Lions (21-9) extended the lead in the fifth inning on Spichiger’s RBI single before the Blue Devils (19-6) got on the board in the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice, plating Rebecca Kaufman.
Spichiger improved to 17-8, allowing one unearned run on five hits, walked two and struck out 11. Elena Scarano allowed two earned runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out four for Westfield.
The victory marks North Hunterdon’s sixth trip to the sectional final in the past eight years, and its second in a row. The Lions will play host to fourth-seeded Watchung Hills at 4 p.m. Friday.
Central Group IV semifinals
Hillsborough 8, Monroe 0: Junior Alyssa VanDerveer went 3-for-3 with an RBI double and senior Alexis Pezza added two hits and two RBI to help propel top-seeded Hillsborough into the final. Rachel Handel and Jess Santelli each added two hits and an RBI, while senior righty Kelly Wishard improved to 11-1, allowing no runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out six for the Raiders (23-2), who will face the winner of Thursday’s game between second-seeded East Brunswick and third-seeded Steinert in Friday’s sectional final. Angela Marzuikiewicz went 2-for-3 for fifth-seeded Monroe (18-6), which managed six hits.
Central Group IV quarterfinals
East Brunswick 8, Rancocas Valley 3: Senior first baseman Shelby Lipson broke a tied in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run homer as second-seeded East Brunswick defeated 10th-seeded Rancocas Valley in the Central Group IV quarterfinals and will host third-seeded Steinert in today’s semifinal.
Meagan Costello went 1-for-3 with a double and three runs scored for the Bears while Lauren Assennata went 2-for-4 with an RBI while picking up the win in the circle.
Central Group II semifinals
Raritan 7, Carteret 1: Rebecca Welch went 2-for-3 for sixth-seeded Carteret (16-10) as seventh-seeded Raritan (21-8) scored five runs in the second inning.
Central Group I semifinals
Florence 4, South Hunterdon 0: Jessica McGregor collected two hits, including a double, but 13th-seeded South Hunterdon (9-14) had its Cinderella run through the state tournament short circuited by the top-seeded and undefeated Flashes.
New Egypt 11, Metuchen 1 (six innings): Nicole Camera went 2-for-3 with a run scored for third-seeded Metuchen (18-7) as third-seeded New Egypt (15-9) scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure the win in a rematch of last year’s sectional final.
North 2 Group III semifinals
Mendham 2, J.F. Kennedy 0: Crystal Carlucci gave up two unearned runs in the fifth inning as third-seeded J.F. Kennedy (18-10) fell to 15th-seeded Mendham (13-10) at Charles Field in Metuchen. The Mustangs managed five hits, all singles other than Brittany Paulikas’ double.
North 2 Group I semifinals
Whippany Park 7, New Providence 3: The third-seeded Pioneers scored three runs in the top of the third inning to tie it, but the second-seeded Wildcats tallied one in the bottom of the frame and three more in the fifth to pull away.
Non-Public B South quarterfinals
Wardlaw-Hartridge 11, Gill St. Bernard’s 10: Rachel Voetzel smacked a two-run single to tie the game and Vanessa Santana delivered a pinch-hit RBI double with one out to put Wardlaw-Hartridge ahead for good as the fourth-seeded Rams rallied from a 10-5 deficit with six in the bottom of the sixth inning to advance to the semifinals. Voetzel finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run for Wardlaw-Hartridge, which will visit top-seeded St. Joseph-Hammonton at 4 p.m. Friday. Amanda Greenberg went 4-for-5 with two runs scored for fifth-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s.
Non-Public A South quarterfinals
Paul VI 1, Immaculata 0: Junior righty Josie Novak allowed just a run on three hits, one walk and struck out 15, but fourth-seeded Immaculata dropped a heartbreaker to the No. 5 seed. Megan Colline tripled and Melissa Weigartner singled to account for only hits for the Spartans, who wrap up their season 16-7.
Non-Public A North quarterfinals
Mount St. Dominic 10, Union Catholic 0 (6 innings): Courtney McGovern and Nicole Veolona each posted two hits, but the seventh-seeded were eliminated by the No. 2 seed and wrap up their season at 12-9.