Timely hitting matters and senior Alessandra Randazzo came through in the clutch when Colts Neck needed her.
After Taylor Terlizzi singled and Natalie Farparan reached on a fielder’s choice, Randazzo singled in both runners during the bottom of the fifth, and the Cougars hung on for a 5-4 victory over Marlboro in their Class A North opener. the game was tied, 3-3, heading to the fifth after each team scored a trio of runs in the first. Farparan tied the game with a bases-loaded single which scored a pair.
For Colts Neck (1-0, 1-0), Terlizzi and Randazzo each had two hits, as did Natale Benkert and Mackenzie Forker. Phoebe Li had three hits and Bonnie Picone added two for the Mustangs.
HOWELL 9, FREEHOLD TWP. 5: After Bridget Coulahan hit a grand slam home run in the top of the third, Sabrina Rittweger, who went 3-for-4, and Taylor Mennie each hit RBI singles to break a 5-5 tie in the top of the fifth to push the Rebels ahead to stay. Paige Eckert also finished 3-for-4 for Howell (2-0, 1-0). Senior pitcher Alex Hartman struck out four and walked one en route to her second win in as many days.
MATAWAN 8, MANCHESTER 5: The Huskies scored twice in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to three runs and scored the nondivisional victory in their opener. Lauren Conory had two hits and 3 RBI while Tracey Brereton added a pair of hits and 2 RBI for Matawan (1-0). Manchester was paced by Kaitlyn Kettmann with two hits and 3 RBI. Freshman Megan Rutch earned the victory in the circle.
TR EAST 5, TR SOUTH 0: The Raiders scored twice in the top of the third and never looked back as they knocked off the Indians in their A South opener. Junior pitcher Lauren Coppinger struck out five and walked none while allowing four hits for the shutout. Coppinger also belted a solo homer in the seventh to cap the scoring. Cassie Varvaro, Kyliegh Norris and Val Hirschfeld each drove in runs for East.
SJ VIANNEY 10, SHORE 0: Junior pitcher Ashley Ventura threw her second shutout and blasted her second homer in as many days, as the Lancers cruised in A Central. Ventura went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI at the plate, which included a two-run blast as part of a five-run first, and whiffed nine while walking none in a four-hitter. Kate Baron and Jackie Gallagher each hit doubles for SJV, while Lauren Shirley went 2-for-3 with a double.
RED BANK 10, NEPTUNE 0: Jess Stevenson’s only hit of the game came in the third when she slugged a grand slam to give the Bucs a 4-0 lead and they cruised from there in B North. Junior pitcher Katie Serkus fanned 14 and allowed two hits for the victory.