Caldwell’s seven game winning streak may have come to an end with a 4-3 loss to a good Montville team on May 5, but it was still a memorable day for the Chiefs’ lofty program.
The most successful team in Essex County history (Caldwell has won 10 county titles) added a pair of lofty milestones, as Gianna Genello, a senior shortstop, reached the 200 hit plateau while Val Murphy, also a senior, picked up her 100th career hit. Both milestones came in the respective player’s final at-bat of the day.
“This means a lot,” said Genello (aka Smarty Jones). “It really does. I think back over the four years and now I’m at 200. There have been some great players here for so many years.”
Genello needed three hits entering the Montville game and finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a typical game for Smarty Jones.
The record for most hits in a career at Caldwell is held by Gina Capardi, who had 209 from 2001-2005. Genello is well within that mark, as well, since Caldwell (17-4) has at least eight games left in its season, and possibly more.
Murphy knew she was somewhat close to the century mark, but had no idea she needed two hits to reach 100 entering today’s game.
“I had no idea until I rounded first (in the sixth inning) and my dad kind of gave me a message that I was at 100. It really feels good, but first and foremost, I want to help this team win.”
Mike Teshkoyan, who is in his 29th season with the Chiefs and is the winningest coach in Essex County history, was very pleased for the two.
“We’ve had maybe 12 kids get to 100, and obviously, just two who made it to 200,” said Teshkoyan. “It’s something to be very proud of. They’re both great kids. I couldn’t be happier for them.”