BY KADEN BUCHALTER
The softball team won its first seven games on its way to a 10-1 record in the first half of the season. A powerful offense and elite pitching performances have led to the team’s best start in years.
The team has managed to gather two wins against rival East Brunswick, including a 3-1 victory this past Saturday. Pitcher Kasey Loughlin allowed only two hits and racked up 9 strikeouts. Loughlin said, “It felt great to win against east Brunswick because they started off their season strong and to pull out a win was awesome!”
Loughlin leads the team as one of only three seniors and the ace of the pitching staff. “It feels great because it’s my senior year, and I want to make the most of it by working hard and focusing on my pitching,” said Loughlin, who notched 100 strikeouts in just eleven games already this season.
The team has established itself as one of the best in the state by dominating their division and conference while also picking up big wins against tough outside opponents. “We beat Colonia HS, one of the best teams in the state, in extra innings. It was a great team effort and insane energy all around,” shared second baseman Alyssa Santiago, who is second on the team with 10 runs scored.
Santiago, Loughlin, and third baseman Brittany Campbell, whose experience has helped her earn ten hits and eight walks, stand out as the only three seniors on a talented young team. “It doesn’t feel real because the last four years have flown by, and I’m used to being on a team with more seniors,” said Loughlin.
One of those talented young players, sophomore Zoe Milonopoulos, who leads the team in hits(21), runs(15), and RBIs(17). Zoe humbly voiced, “I think I’m doing pretty well but there’s always room for improving.”
The entire team is always working to improve. “We’re always in the cages,” said Milonopoulos. “We practice every day with the team, and a lot of the girls go home and practice on their own”
Of course, all of the effort is worth it when the team wins almost every game. “The hard work we are all putting in is really showing by the way we are playing,” stated Savanna Martinez.
The squad has made some memorable moments so far this season as their wins piled-up. “The most memorable moment had to be when we won against Cranford. Everyone couldn’t stop smiling. We were all extremely happy and fought the whole game,” said Martinez, who has a homerun and three doubles so far.
The Knights are 7-0 in their conference and 3-0 in their division, and they continue to find ways to improve. Loughlin said, “Our team’s strengths are making adjustments when needed, which helps us win in big games.”
As they move into the second half of the season, the players know that they have a lot left to accomplish. Santiago expressed, “We just have to not get complacent or too comfortable. Stay hungry and focus on executing for the win.”
The team next faces off against JP Stevens on the road Tuesday at 4pm before returning home from Senior Night against North Brunswick at 6pm Wednesday.
Posted on 4/25/22
Photos by Tim O’Neill