Watchung Hills Denies EHT Softball a Perfect Season
By GIUSEPPE UNGARO, Glory Days Magazine
UNION — With a penchant to come from behind, as it did in each of its last three games, the Egg Harbor Township High School softball team never stopped believing it would once again overcome an early deficit in the state championship game on Friday night.
However, the Eagles couldn’t get to opposing pitcher Robin McCabe, as Watchung Hills (28-5) ended Egg Harbor Township’s playoff run with a 4-0 win on in the NJSIAA Group 4 championship game at Kean University.
The loss was the first for the Eagles in 25 games this season, and also kept them from winning their first title in school history. However, the loss does not overshadow the rest of the historic season, according to the Eagles.
“We finished the season 24-1, not many teams do that,” said Egg Harbor Township senior Kate Korte, who tried to cheer up her teammates after the loss. “They need to be proud of themselves — just as proud I am of them. I’ve seen them all grow in four years and I wouldn’t want to do this with any other team.”
“It sucks losing this game, but we do have to think about our entire season,” Egg Harbor ace Nicole Wisser said. "We had a great season, probably the best EHT ever saw. We have to keep our heads held high because it was a great season.”
Egg Harbor Township, which rallied from behind against Rancocas Valley and Eastern in the final two rounds of the sectional tournament — and once again in the state semifinals against East Brunswick — fell behind 3-0 to Watchung Hills in front of a large crowd, the majority cheering for the Eagles.
Alyssa Murray sparked the Warriors’ three-run fourth inning with a lead-off double to left field. Julia Stasil followed with single, and moved to second on the throw home to give Watchung Hills runners on second and third with no outs. Wisser was able to get the next batter out swinging, but the Warriors’ Genna Cicchetti put down a bunt single that scored Murray. The Warriors added two more runs on errors in the inning.
Watchung Hills added another run in the sixth inning, again using a lead-off double, this time by Stasil, who later scored on a single by Kayla Schink.
McCabe kept the Eagles’ bats quiet with a variety of pitches and by changing speeds and location. The sophomore star held the Eagles to three hits, and only three base runners reached second base.
“You have to give it to her,” Korte said. “She is a great pitcher. She is a sophomore. She has a curveball. Not a lot of pitchers have that spin. They may say, ‘yeah, we throw a curveball,’ but not a lot of pitchers actually get that spin. She is a good pitcher and put it where she needed to."
The Eagles' best chance to score may have come in the second inning when Kate Korte singled and reached second on a passed ball. Teammate Miranda Cincotti followed with what would have been an RBI single, but instead landed in the glove of diving left fielder Annie Suitorsky.
The Eagles also didn’t take advantage of Cris McElhinney’s double in the third inning, which took one bounce off the warning track.
Egg Harbor Township's incredible playoff run included wins over Brick Memorial, Shawnee, Rancocas Valley, Eastern Regional and East Brunswick.
Contact Giuseppe Ungaro: firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @GDgisepu