Syd the Kid, Arts and Letters battle to the finish line, as Livingston edges Newark Academy; Championship heritage at MSD; Nutley playing very well; ECT begins on Derby Saturday, which is no coincidence

Livingston and Newark Academy played an interesting game on April 28, with the Lancers edging the Minutemen, 3-1.

Couple of observations. The pitching, on both sides, was solid and Newark Academy has a very talented infield, with kids who can flat out make plays.

For Livingston, Sami Passeri pitched 6 2/3 solid innings before giving way to Sydney (Syd the Kid) McCormack, who gave up a bases-loaded single before retiring Newark Academy’s talented third baseman, Sophie Rosenberg, (AKA, Arts and Letters) to finish the game. (Rosenberg, a junior, is the newest stud).

“None of these games are easy,” said Livingston coach Jason Daily afterward. “We were trying to avoid facing Rosenberg with the bases loaded and two outs, but it came down to Syd making a good pitch. Sophie is a very talented player and Newark Academy is really coming around.”

On April 27, I saw Cedar Grove and Mount St. Dominic play a good game at MSD, with the top-ranked Lions winning, 2-0.

Obviously, pitching dominated, as the Mount’s Kelsey Oh spun a two-hitter, while striking out nine and walking one. Cedar Grove freshman pitcher Kali McCabe allowed just four hits against a potent lineup. Cedar Grove will have an interesting draw in the upcoming Essex County Tournament. The Panthers could face Livingston in the quarterfinals, then MSD in the semis.

As far as the Lions of Mount St. Dominic, we’ve all known how good they are since the season started. But even more was learned last Saturday when the Lions fell behind by three runs in the second game of the MSDA Lions Softball Invitational, against a strong Notre Dame team, before rallying back with five runs before Notre Dame could catch its collective breath in the field. (The Mount went on to win, 7-3).

Mount St. Dominic is not only good, they’re very hungry. While this team won a state championship last year to cap a triple crown season (SEC, ECT and Non-Public A), this is a much different group in 2015, since graduation took its toll from a year ago.

There’s only senior on the roster, in Alexandra Dabroski, a very talented second baseman who sparks this team at the top of the lineup.

Oh continues to be nearly unstoppable in the circle. As a freshman last year, she showed the mettle to lead the team to a state championship. That savvy, along with a year’s experience, could make her even tougher in 2015.

While we’re at it, let’s not forget about Nutley. The Raiders would make Al Davis proud. They pretty much, just win. They’re unbeaten on the road in league play and its only two setbacks within the SEC came in extra innings, at home.

MSD and Nutley have yet to play this season, and that could be an interesting matchup. As a matter of fact, the teams could meet three times in a 16-day span, starting on April 30, in Caldwell, continuing six days later in Nutley, and a possible third meeting in the county championship game on May 16.

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 2, which is also the day of the first round of the ECT. Some interesting games await, including Newark Academy at Nutley, Montclair visiting Livingston, Verona at Bloomfield and Belleville traveling to Caldwell. The quarterfinals are set for May 9, at the home of the higher seed, followed by the semifinals and finals, at Ivy Hill Park, on May 15 and 16.

Here is the updated Top 10.

1-Mount St. Dominic (18-1)

The Lions swept two games at its tournament last Saturday, then defeated a good Lodi Immaculate squad a day later in Saddle Brook.

2-West Essex (10-6)

Three of its losses have been by 1-0 counts. The other three losses were by one run each to Morristown and Cedar Grove, with its ‘worst’ loss by two runs to Morris Knolls. Sami Huetter (Canonero II) continues to do a good job in the circle.

3-Nutley (14-3)

As long as Spectacular Bid (Carly Anderson) is pitching, Nutley will be dangerous. And as long as Anderson is batting at the top of the lineup, a potent offense will be tough to contain.

4-Cedar Grove (12-4)

Another team which is tough to beat. The Panthers continue to improve and were impressive in a 2-0 loss to Mount St. Dominic last Monday. Erin Stacevicz (California Chrome) dazzles at shortstop and is good as they get in the leadoff role.

5-Livingston (9-5)

Lancers are very young, and while they might not be among the favorites to win the county title this year, they’re still talented enough to be serious contenders.

6-Caldwell (13-3)

Chiefs were riding a three-game winning streak entering a game with West Orange on April 29. The team had a huge win over Paramus Catholic at the MSDA Lions Softball Invitational last weekend.

7-Verona (8-2)

Hillbillies having one of its best seasons in years and will be a tough test in the ECT.

8-Millburn (14-1)

Millers will hear about its schedule, but it did gain a respectable 10th seed in the ECT and will face Columbia in the first round on Saturday night, in South Orange. A win there moves it into the quarters against West Essex.

9-Columbia (9-3)

Will host Millburn on Saturday in first round, ECT game.

10-Newark Academy (4-8)

Head coach Sergio Rodriguez feels this team is very close to breaking through. He may be right. Watch for Arts and Letters, Sophie Rosenberg, who has a good glove and potent bat.
STUD WATCH

The Essex softball studs, so far, in 2015

Sami Huetter, Canonero II

Gianna Genello, Smarty Jones

Carly Anderson, Spectacular Bid

Sydney McCormack, Syd The Kid

Marina Lombardi, Silver Charm

Erin Stacevicz, California Chrome

Sophie Rosenberg, Arts and Letters

OUT OF NETWORK

Southpaw Secretariat, IHA.

 

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By mike051893

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