NORTH WILDWOOD — The Wildwood Catholic softball team hit its stride in the fourth inning to end the game early and win 13-1 over Holy Spirit in the quarterfinals of the South Jersey Non-Public B tournament May 24.
Going directly from the circle to the plate, junior pitcher Emily Cimino hit a solo home run to start an eight-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“Someone needed to get something started,” Cimino said. “We were having trouble hitting, so that was the perfect way to do it. I was glad I had the chance to do it.”
Wildwood Catholic advanced to the sectional final against second-seeded St. Joseph, which was played Thursday. That game was too late for this edition and the results will run next week.
The top-seeded Crusaders were locked in a 1-1 tie against the ninth seed Spartans in the top of the third inning but added four runs in the bottom of the third and eight runs in the fourth to clinch the victory.
“Our team likes to sometimes start a little late, so once we get going we’re pretty good at keeping the momentum up and hitting, and everyone sort of picks each other up,” Wildwood Catholic coach Matt Megines said.
Wildwood Catholic’s Mercedes Rivera hit a double to bring in
Tahtiyana Camba in the second inning for the game’s first run.
The Spartans’ Sophia Pasquale answered with an RBI double, bringing in Aby Kiker, who had singled and stole second. Pitcher Nicolette Calabrese took the loss for Holy Spirit.
Following Cimino’s home run in the fourth, Noelle Probst hit a two-run double followed by a pair of RBI doubles by Lauren Sorenson and Bella Feraco.
Cimino, along with recording eight strikeouts in four innings, also hit a single to bring in Brianna Bailey in the same inning.
“I just try to hit the ball every time,” Cimino said. “Just get on base and help my team.”
Cimino scored a run on a double by Anna Mae Peterson, who capped the rally and had four hits.
“When Cimino was on third I just knew I had to bring her in,” Peterson said. “It’s just about bringing in everyone that’s on base. I think everyone contributed.”
Megines said he was proud of his team for maintaining its focus despite lost practice time during the past week.
“We haven’t played in like 10 days, so for them to come out and be prepared and be ready to go, they do a good job with that,” Megines said.
The Crusaders will take on fifth seed Holy Cross in the semifinals Tuesday. Looking forward to next game in the tournament, Wildwood Catholic feels good about its chances.
“If we keep playing like this, I think we can go pretty far. I’m excited to see what happens,” Cimino said.
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Holy Spirit 001 00—1 1 0
Wildwood Catholic 014 8—13 20 0
2B—Sorenson, Probst, Feraco, Peterson WC; Pasquale HS. HR—Cimino WC.
Records—WC 19-7; HS 8-12.