The hunt for the Class A North division gets more interesting by the week, and for some teams a spoiler role is their place.
Such was the case for Manalapan on Tuesday, as Kristen Ruggiero singled in Jaime Denza, who went 2-for-3, to break a 5-5 tie during the bottom of the seventh, giving the Braves (4-7, 3-7) a 6-5 victory.
Denza led off the final at-bat with a single, moved to second on a passed ball, and Ruggiero fouled off eight pitches during a 3-2 count before coming away with the game-winning hit.
Ruggiero allowed six hits and a walk for the victory in the circle as well.
Christine Gebhardt had the only extra-base hit for the Lions (9-4, 6-2), a solo home run, while Nikki Alfano went 2-for-3.
Manalapan took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth before North scored twice to cut the lead to a run.
The Braves then scored twice in the fifth, but the Lions tied the contest with three in the sixth.
FREEHOLD 5, NEPTUNE 4: Down by two in the bottom of the seventh, the Colonials (2-11, 2-8) received a single by Kelsey Quinn, who stole second and went to third on a single by Anna Vaccaro, before Skylar Devorin tripled to bring in the tying runs and then scored the game-winner on an error for the B North win. Vaccaro, Devorin and Dominique Franscino each had two hits.
LACEY 5, BRICK MEMORIAL 4: Emily Dezendorf and Caitlyn Linstra each went 2-for-4, and Morgan Walizer scattered nine hits in the circle and doubled in Sara Wright during the sixth for the Lions’ only earned run, as Lacey (9-6, 7-4) knocked off the Mustangs (5-7, 4-5) in A South. Ali Immerso and Sierra Culloo each went 2-for-3 for Memorial.
POINT BORO 10, MANCHESTER 9: Amanda Caputo scattered six hits and walked just one, while Mary McKeon went 3-for-4 and Melissa Alfonso finished 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, as the Panthers (5-9, 4-7) scored eight times in the bottom of the seventh to snare the B South win over the Hawks (5-8, 5-6). Julia Ott was 3-for-4 for Manchester.
BRICK 3, TR SOUTH 1: Jess McDonaugh went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, including an RBI single in the fifth to give the Green Dragons (1-12, 1-9) the lead after the Indians tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth, as Brick scored its first victory of the season.
Kelsey Jones also went 2-for-3 for the Dragons, while winning pitcher Christine Frazee earned the victory in the circle by giving up three hits and no walks.
TR EAST 11, JACKSON MEMORIAL 9: Lauren Coppinger went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI, delivering an RBI single in the sixth for insurance, and scattered eight hits while fanning five in the circle, as the Raiders (8-6, 8-3) got past the Jaguars (10-3, 7-3) in A South. Gianna DePalma finished 3-for-3 with 3 RBI, including a two-run triple to cap a five-run fourth, while Cassie Varvaro and Alyssa Raimondo each added two hits for East. Kayla Molnar and Dana Varriello each had two hits for Memorial.