Returning a bunch of young starters from a 15-win squad which ended up in last season’s NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III final apparently has its benefits.
Raritan found out the hard way on Wednesday, as Manasquan broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the sixth on the strength of back-to-back doubles from sophomores Megan Gilly and Quinn Saito, while sophomore pitcher Olivia Galinas held the Rockets to just two hits despite eight walks, and the Warriors ended up on the positive side of a 3-1 Shore Conference Class A Central clash.
After Raritan (1-1, 1-1) scored in the first inning, Manasquan (1-0, 1-0) bounced back in the top of the second with the tying run. During the next three innings, Galinas, who struck out 10 in Squan’s first game of the season, dueled with Raritan sophomore hurler Emily Schaffer, who recorded eight strikeouts.
In the top of the sixth, the Warriors broke through and took the lead for good, as senior Katelyn Anderson led off with a walk and went to second on a Galinas sacrifice bunt, before Gilly and Saito each doubled to make it a two-run contest.
Freshman Shakyra Moore, who also doubled, went 2-for-4, as did Saito.
MARLBORO 6, COLTS NECK 5: Senior Jaymee Fried hit a one-out double to left-center field and senior Sam Seratelli hit a line drive up the middle to score Fried with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh, as the Mustangs (2-0, 2-0) defeated the Cougars (0-1, 0-1) in a Class A North thriller.
Seratelli, who finished 3-for-3 with four RBI, gave Marlboro a 5-0 advantage in the first when she swatted a bases-clearing double. But Colts Neck, playing in its first game of the season, roared back during the later innings by scoring a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings, before Taylor Terlizzi, who went 2-for-4 with two RBI, evened the score at 5-5 with a solo blast in the top of the seventh.
Sam Brinskelle, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, fanned seven and walked just one to earn the victory in the pitcher’s circle.
FREEHOLD TWP. 4, HOWELL 1: After the Rebels jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Patriots erased the deficit with a run in the top of the second, then went ahead for good in the third and ended up a 4-1, Class A North victor.
Starting off the third, juniors Marissa Barnes and Ashley Eisenstein each singled, and a throwing error on the play following the second hit allowed Barnes to score the eventual game-winner. Freehold Township scored runs in the fifth and sixth as well to seal the victory. Victoria Saporito and Lori Brennan each had two hits for the Patriots.
Township senior pitcher Jordyn White fanned eight and allowed one walk and four hits, including doubles to Vivian Montgomery and Kelly Hardiman.
MIDD. SOUTH 10, MANALAPAN 1: After squeezing by Middletown North on Monday, the Eagles had little trouble hitting the ball against the Braves in A North action, as senior pitcher Alli Podmajersky led the charge with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, which included a home run and two RBI, and a four-hit, eight-strikeout game in the pitcher’s circle.
Abbey Schulz went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, while Hannah Milano had a hit and three RBI for the Eagles (2-0, 2-0).
RED BANK 9, NEPTUNE 1: Junior first baseman Jessica Stevenson slugged her second home run in as many days, drilling a two-run dinger over the fence in the third inning to help extend her squad’s lead to 7-0, and the Bucs rolled from there in an A North contest. Meanwhile, sophomore hurler Katie Serkus allowed four hits and three walks while fanning 12 from the circle, and went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI at the plate. Morgan Scholl also went 2-for-4 with two RBI for the Bucs (2-0, 2-0).
MONMOUTH 6, HOLMDEL 1: The Falcons received a solid effort from junior pitcher Megan Mego, who struck out two and allowed five hits, and some impressive plate appearances from junior Alexandra Montefinese, who went 2-for-4 with a triple and double, as their squad cruised to the A Central victory.
OCEAN 15, LONG BRANCH 0: Senior pitcher Gianna Kinhofer recorded a no-hitter by fanning 11 and walking one, and went 4-for-4, which included the 100th hit of her career, as the Spartans (2-0, 2-0) rolled. Kinhofer’s 100th came when she belted a run-scoring double as part of a two-run first at-bat. Veronica Woehr went 3-for-4 and Emily Butler went 2-for-3, while teammate Jenna Ambrossio crushed a two-run homer.