While Livingston’s Jess Peslak put on another Secretariat-like performance today, Nutley’s Carly Anderson was determined to show she’s capable of pitching effectively against the big teams, as well.
Peslak and her Lancer teammates won a 1-0 decision over Anderson’s Raiders, another in a long line of tremendous games between these two schools.
The Hofstra-bound Peslak was credited with a no-hitter, striking out 10 and walking three while wearing those dark sunglasses, which make her even more imposing in the circle. (Sort of like Secretariat with the blinders on before a big race).
She also worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom of the seventh which came about because of a pair of errors and a walk. Peslak was behind 3-and-1 on what was potentially the tying run in Jenna Zaporito, when she induced a fly to right, which was caught by Alexa Altcheck.
Nutley coach Luann Zullo opted to send the runner from third home, but Altcheck threw a bee-bee to home where catcher Marina Lombardi applied the tag for the second out. Peslak then struck out her 10th batter to finish the game.
“Jess battled,” said Livingston coach Jason Daily. “That’s what she does. She looks forward to those opportunities.”
Anderson, a sophomore, scattered five hits, including three in the first inning when Livingston (2-1) scored its only run. Leadoff batter Kylie McLaughlin tripled to start the game, then scored on a double by Sammi Rothenberger.
McLaughlin, a 2012 All State outfielder, had three hits for Livingston today.
Anderson was marvelous, striking out six and walking none.
“Anderson was tremendous,” Daily said of the sophomore lefty. “I mean, she was really good. We got an early run and made it stick, but that kid is going to be fun to watch.”
Zullo couldn’t help but smile after the game.
“I love competing against Jason’s teams,” Zullo said. “I wish these games weren’t always so nerve-racking, but these are great matchups. Jason does it right. He runs a tremendous program and his kids play the game the way it’s meant to be played. They battle you, but they respect the field and the way they’re supposed to act.”
Nutley (2-1) will play at Livingston later this season in another Super Essex Conference game and the teams could very well meet up in next month’s Essex County Tournament. In the long and storied history of the ECT, it’s hard to top the 2011 ECT semifinal, when Nutley rallied for a 5-4 win despite Peslak’s 14 strikeouts.
“These are crazy games,” Peslak said with her usual smile after her first no-hitter of the season. “Playing here is always an adventure. I’m glad we got the win.”
And so it continues.