Congratulations to Caldwell High softball coach, Mike Teshkoyan, who won his 615th career game last week, surpassing retired Jefferson coach Ed Levens on the state’s all time win list.
Teshkoyan is Essex County’s all time winningest coach. He’s been at the helm in Caldwell since 1987 and has guided the Chiefs to eight county championships. Caldwell has won the most titles, 10, since the ECT began in 1978.
The 38th Essex County Tournament heads into the quarterfinal round, with four very good matchups. Livingston will visit Cedar Grove while West Essex is host to Columbia, on Saturday, May 9. Caldwell travels to Nutley on May 8 and Mount St. Dominic, the top seed, will host Bloomfield on Monday, May 11.
The semifinals and finals are set for Ivy Hill Park, in Newark, on May 15 and 16.
Caldwell senior pitcher Cayla Lombardi has been throwing very well of late. Her resiliency in close games is one of the reasons why the Chiefs were 17-4 through games of May 5.
Lombardi has closed the door in the late stages of close games, as Caldwell won low-scoring, intense contests against Paramus Catholic, Bloomfield, Verona (twice) and Belleville over the past few weeks.
As hard-nosed as she appears in the circle, it’s those pink croc shoes she wears after games, which are indeed a classic.
Seriously, she’s been a very effective player in 2015, and with a veteran squad behind her, Caldwell could be a major factor in both the ECT and state sectional tournament.
And speaking of Caldwell, keep an eye on sophomore catcher Christina Guarino, who is quickly becoming one of the best behind the plate in Essex County and also has a potent bat.
Sami Huetter appears to be very happy in her role as West Essex’s number one pitcher. The sophomore righty is having a tremendous season in 2015, and is one of the reasons why a young team is among the favorites to advance in the county tournament.
Huetter stopped by the Livingston-Montclair county game last Saturday, to watch a few friends from her club team play.
“We’re having a good season,” said Huetter. “It’s been fun. Everyone seems to be getting better by each game.”
When asked about possible college plans, the affable Canonero II wasn’t thinking that far ahead, yet.
“I know that junior year is a big year for starting to think about college,” she said with a smile. “But right now, I’m just enjoying my sophomore year and being a part of a good group of players.”
If you haven’t seen Belleville play this year, you should. Chris Cantarella has an exciting young team playing well in 2015.
One of the few seniors on the team is Sarah Guy, a third baseman who excelled in Belleville’s first round county tournament game against Caldwell on May 2. Guy homered and also made two outstanding defensive plays at third base.
The newest FMTC ‘Stud’, Charismatic plans to attend Montclair State University in the fall.
Montclair’s first-year coach Phil Delgado must sleep well at night. He’s so intense in coaching his team that it’s hard to believe he has much energy left past dinner time.
Delgado doesn’t believe in grass growing under his players’ feet. Every pitch is a teaching moment, every swing has a message. He is quick to point out a mistake, not to embarrass a player, but to help her get better.
As much as there’s a laser focus, he’s quick to encourage a player, even if she misses out on a catch, or a tag.
For Delgado, it’s about hustling, intensity and trying hard. And as long as the Mounties are doing that, the improvement will come as well.
“No check swings today,” he told his players during a county game with Livingston. “Every pitch counts, every swing counts. Make the most of it. This is what it’s all about.”