NephHope Foundation board members Paschell Sutton and Samara Berger did their best to stay out of the wind Saturday while admiring the softball action taking place on the two fields at Manalapan High School.
“It’s really exciting to see all these people here supporting the cause,” Sutton said. “It’s very impressive to see what the girls are willing to do in support of what we’re doing. We’re still fighting the fight, and these girls have done a great job in helping out with that fight.”
The fight involves finding a treatment and a cure for individuals diagnosed with Nephronophthisis and Senior-Loken Syndrome through the funding of research as well as increasing awareness and providing support for those dealing with this diagnoses and their families.
This year, the Kidney Klassic event featuring six games was held to raise funds for the Foundation on behalf of 8-year-old Kylie Wyers, who a month ago had a kidney transplant.
“It’s great to come out here and support the community and such a great cause,” said Toms River North catcher Sam Reilly, who went 3-for-4 while leading the Mariners to a 9-1 victory over Robbinsville in one of two marquee matchups. “We get to play the game we love and help out at the same time. That’s a good thing.”
The Mariners used the long ball effectively to make it a great day for them, as they spotted the Ravens a run in the top of the first inning before grabbing control in the bottom half of the inning with a four-run outburst.
After Reilly singled to lead off the at-bat, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Riley Vuyovich, Brielle Perrotta singled in Reilly to make it 1-1. Jade Warner then hit into a groundout which scored Vuyovich with the go-ahead run and Taylor Ward slugged a two-run home run to right-center to make it 4-1.
“We definitely were ready to play today,” Ward said. “We came out hungry and needed to get the momentum, and once we got it we just had to keep it going.”
With two out in the bottom of the second, Reilly crushed a solo homer to left before Vuyovich singled and winning pitcher Ashley Hussey drilled a homer to right-center to make it a 7-1 contest.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Perrotta, who was 3-for-3, doubled to right and scored on Ward’s double to left two batters later to make it 8-1, and Ward scored on Amanda Joyce’s double to right-center to cap the scoring.
Hussey scattered six hits and walked two to earn her third straight victory in the circle.
“We’re working well together right now,” Hussey said. “We have to stay together, keep pracricing hard, keep our confidence up and not get too cocky.”
IN OTHER KIDNEY KLASSIC GAMES:
HOWELL 6, TR EAST 3: Trailing 3-2 heading into the fifth, the Rebels (3-0) scored four times to claim the victory. Bridget Coulahan doubled with two outs before Paige Eckert whacked a two-run homer to make it 4-3. Sabrina Rittweger doubled and scored on single by Vivian Montgomery, who was 3-for-3, before Taylor Mennie tripled to bring in Montgomery to cap the scoring. Alex Hartman scattered eight hits and walked two to earn the victory in the circle.
MANALAPAN 11, TR SOUTH 10: Down by three going into the bottom of the seventh, the Braves (1-1) scored four times to capture their first victory of the season. After Olivia Carbone — who went 2-for-5 — doubled in a pair of runs to make it a one-run contest, Carbone later scored on a passed ball for the game-winner. Sophomore pitcher Kristen Ruggiero struck out 10 and scattered eight hits to earn the victory.
RARITAN 17, JACKSON LIBERTY 3: Emily Schaffer doubled, tripled and hit a grand slam, and Brianna Rinaldi went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, as the Rockets (1-1) cruised. Raritan took a 4-0 lead in the first, added two runs in the second, once each in the fifth and sixth, and finished off with nine in the top of the seventh. Schaffer also earned the win in the circle, as she scattered six hits, struck out nine and walked one.
MIDDLETOWN SOUTH 9, WAGNER (N.Y.) 0: Freshman pitcher Maddie McMahon fanned 15, walked none and allowed just one hit, and Julia Beck went 3-for-3 with two doubles, as the Eagles routed the Staten Island visitor. McMahon carried a perfect game into the seventh but Wagner’s first batter of the at-bat singled. In the second inning, the Eagles scored four times as Beck double and scored on an error, McMahon scored on another error, and Alex Corrigan singled in two runs.
PINELANDS 3, MIDDLETOWN NORTH 2 (11): After Emma Neuweiler, who started the at-bat on second base during the international tiebreaker, was bunted over to third base, she scored two batters later when Shannyn Herron hit a bloop single to right field to give the Wildcats (4-0) their fourth straight win. The Lions’ Christine Gebhardt, who went 3-for-3, whacked a solo homer in the third to make it 2-0, but Pinelands scored twice in the top of the fourth to tie it up.