VOORHEES – The Hunterdon Central High School softball team’s turnaround season came to a close on Wednesday afternoon.
The Red Devils ran into a juggernaut Washington Township squad and lost 10-0 in the Group II state semifinals at Eastern Regional.
While it was a disappointing end to the campaign, first-year coach Kelly Karp was still thrilled with how her team performed after finishing under .500 the previous two seasons.
“I’m not mad at them. They played the best they could and I’m happy with the overall season,” she said. “This is my first year here and this is phenomenal.”
Hunterdon Central (25-5) had no answer for Washington Township ace Lauren Shannon, who twirled a four-hit, 10-strikeout gem.
The Red Devils also made three errors in the field, which added to their woes.
“I think they let their nerves get to them, and I know they definitely weren’t playing the normal way they play,” Karp said. “They made some errors that (weren’t) usual and it just got the best of them.”
The game was scoreless through two innings, but the Minutemaids (30-1), winners of 24 straight, scored twice in the bottom of the third and five times in the bottom of the fourth to break the game open.
Karp said the five-run fourth was a backbreaker.
“We couldn’t string our hits together after that,” she said. “That’s definitely what started it.”
Still, Karp couldn’t have asked for a much better year.
“The whole season has been excellent,” she said. “I couldn’t be any more proud of these girls. We’ve come a long way and I’m looking forward to next year for sure.”