Sami Huetter generally has a smile on her face, and West Essex’s sophomore righty was grinning a little more after her team’s hard-fought 2-0 win over one of the state’s better teams, Lodi Immaculate, on April 30, in North Caldwell.
“It was fun today,” said Huetter (aka Canonero II) after her team improved to 11-7 and snapped a two-game losing streak. “We’ve got some big games coming up, starting with Bloomfield (on May 1) and heading into the (Essex) County tournament on Saturday. Getting a win today against a good team is a big step.”
Huetter struck out six and worked out of a few jams during the game with Lodi Immaculate. And her ERA (thanks to Bob Pezzuti for this stat) is 0.61 against the likes of Ridgewood, Mount St. Dominic and Lodi Immaculate.
Monica Onorata drove in a run when West Essex scored the game’s only runs in the bottom of the first. Good defense by West Essex made the lead hold, especially a tremendous play by Madison Gemma in the top of the third.
With one out, Lodi Immaculate had loaded the bases. Huetter got the next batter to pop up, but the wind carried the ball into short right field. Gemma, playing second, circled under the ball and made the catch.
The runner on third tagged on the play and Gemma made a perfect throw to the plate, where catcher (A) Rose (By Any Other Name) Pezzuti applied the tag to end the inning.
West Essex coach Andrea Mondadori Llauget was happy to see her team get back on track after losing a pair of games to Ridgewood and Mount St. Dominic, both by shutout.
“We had to get going with the bats,” said ‘Mondo’. “We’ve lost five game by one run (including three 1-0 setbacks), and another by two. This was an important game for us. Madison has been playing a very strong second base and Sami gets better with every game.”
Bloomfield picked up a huge win on April 30, when it defeated a good Verona team, 6-5, in the first round of the Essex County Tournament, in Bloomfield.
The Bengals (4-10) will most likely face top-seeded Mount St. Dominic in the quarterfinals on, or about May 9.
Bloomfield coach Bob Mayer was happy for his team.
“We’ve lost some close games recently,” said Mayer, referring to a 6-5 setback to Caldwell and a 7-6 loss to Cedar Grove in the past two days prior to the win over Verona. “Our kids needed this.”
Verona, which was seeded ninth in the ECT, fell to 9-4. The Hillbillies will have a huge game in the Super Essex Conference’s (SEC) Liberty Division on May 1, when it visits Caldwell at 4 p.m.
Bloomfield and West Essex will meet in an SEC American Division matchup on May 1, in Bloomfield.