Most high school softball coaches like to call a standout player a ‘stud’, even though the term refers to a male horse.
With the understanding that this blog is to have fun and in no way is meant to insult a high school girl and her love of playing softball, The Studs will be out in tow this Saturday, when the 36th Essex County Tournament reaches the quarterfinal round at four different locations.
(How nice would it be to watch all four quarters in one site, huh? Oh well).
Some teams have studs, other teams have studs with the classic thoroughbred names. I’ll sprinkle in some during the week. And again, please, this is FOR FUN.
Here are a few hints on some studs that have ‘names’.
Hey, there are some other great horse names out there, too. Canonero II, Smarty Jones, Charismatic, Silver Charm, Alysheba, War Emblem, Ruffian, Sunday Silence, Pleasant Colony, Tim Tam and Spectacular Bid, to name a few….So, have some fun with it.
Anyway, here is the updated FMTC Top 10 for this week.
1-Livingston (16-3) (hint, the aforementioned stud photos could apply here). Lancers have won 10 straight since losing to a pair of No. 1 teams (IHA and Delaware-based Caravel at the MSD Tourney on April 14).
2-Mount St. Dominic (17-3). Lions have been playing great all season. A huge test awaits on May 6, when Nutley visits. Livingston and MSD will both be playing at Ivy Hill Park on May 8, but not against each other. The teams will meet for (probably) the SEC American title on May 13, in Caldwell. (Ruffian and Sunday Silence possibly here ).
3-Nutley (15-4). The Raiders just win. Nothing fancy, just solid softball, excellent pitching (Spectacular Bid?) and a young core that could make them the early favorites in the SEC already in 2014.
4-Newark Academy (13-4). Here come the Minutemen again, just in time for the ECT. Canonero II, possibly, at third base while another player (Lisa Swenson) collected her 100th career hit last week. More to come on Sergio Rodriguez’s team early this week.
5-Cedar Grove (10-7). Could be the most interesting team left in the ECT. Don’t forget, the Panthers won the 2010 county title with a freshman pitcher (Gabby Castelli) who is now a senior and knows how to pitch in tough games like these.
6-Bloomfield (13-4). Could be Charismatic, Smarty Jones and Silver Charm to watch here, perhaps behind the plate, at shortstop and right field? The Bengals can hit with the best of them.
7-Caldwell (8-9). Where’d they come from all of a sudden, right? Well, the Chiefs have as rich a tradition as it comes in ECT history, with 10 titles, including the inaugural ECT in 1978 and they’re the only school to three-peat (1986-1988). The current group struggled early, but this team has a good defense, especially in the infield, where, maybe a stud or two (Alysheba and/or War Emblem) could be ready to race?
8-West Essex (9-9). They’re so young that the term colts would better apply here. Catcher Kim Shaw has all the tools, as does first baseman Rose Pezzuti, to make the Knights a tough out this weekend in what should be a great quarterfinal game against Bloomfield.
9-Glen Ridge (9-8). After a quick start, the Ridgers have struggled, but watch out for them in the state tourney, especially with pitcher Tara Kelly.
10-Montclair Kimberley (9-7). Like West Essex, a very young team, but loaded with potential. Freshman second baseman Izzy Mendez can flat out play. (Tim Tam Alert?)