Montclair won a big game on April 19, defeating Gov. Livingston, 3-2. For a young team struggling to find an identity, any win is a good one, especially in a hard-fought, well-played game.
Jessie ‘Maddux’ Mazur struck out 11 for the Mounties (2-7) in a complete game effort. Lilly Silverstein drove in the game-winning run, in walk-off fashion, with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Erica Robles had two hits for Montclair.
“It was a good sign today,” said Montclair coach Phil Delgado. “We played the kind of game I know we’re capable of playing. I was happy with the effort.”
Bloomfield and Livingston played another close game, at ShangriLa on April 19, with the Lancers (5-6) edging the Bengals, 4-3, with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Bloomfield (3-7) trailed, 3-1, in the top of the seventh, before tying it on a two-run single by pinch hitter Rachelle Ramirez, along with a rare fielding error by the Lancers. Livingston would come back to win it on a leadoff triple by Allie Beinhacker and a single by Blake Saperstein.
The Bengals earlier run came on a single by Sam Corio and a double by Jalia Santos, in the fourth inning, that tied the game at one.
Livingston pitcher Sydney McCormack (Syd The Kid) threw a complete game for the victory.
Jason Daily, Livingston’s coach, wasn’t surprised by Bloomfield’s tenacity.
“We’ve had some crazy games with them, especially here,” said Daily. “Bloomfield always comes to play. (Bloomfield coach) Bob (Mayer) has those kids battling all the time.”
Daily’s infield defense continued to impress, especially in fielding the bunt.
“We work on that all the time,” said Daily. “Our kids are good at getting to the right spot on a bunt and knowing where their assignments are.”
Daily also looked back at his team’s 9-2 loss to No. 1 Mount St. Dominic a day earlier.
“I thought we played well,” Daily said. “We got an early 1-0 lead, they went ahead, 2-1, we tied it, 2-2 and had some opportunities. But the Mount is so tough. And let me tell you, (MSDA pitcher) Kelsey (Oh) was incredible. Eighteen strikeouts? She was really on. That kid is so good, and she’s a big time competitor.”
Belleville has a big day planned on April 23, when the Bucs will honor former coach, Carl Corino, by naming its home field the Corino Softball Complex at Clearman Field.
Corino was the first Essex County high school softball coach to win 500 career games. He was also the state’s winningest coach, from 2002-2004. Corino guided Belleville to 12 Essex County Tournament championship games, three county titles, seven conference crowns and two state sectional championships.
And in a hard-nosed county like Essex, where coaches take their craft quite seriously, the compliments have flowed for Corino.
Carl Corino (back row, center) joined his former team when the Bucs were in Florida in March. Corino was informed then, by current coach, Chris Cantarella, that the field would be named in his honor on April 23.
“Our teams had some great battles over the years in the Essex County Tournament,” said MSDA coach, Lorenzo Sozio, who throws compliments around as freely as a manhole cover, but is also quite honest in assessments. “Carl is an icon in high school softball. There’s no other way to put it. He helped put our sport on the map.”
Daily recalled the first time he coached against Corino, in 2001.
“Belleville beat us by the mercy rule,” said Daily, with a laugh. “And afterward, Carl called me over and said something along the lines of ‘you’re going to do okay.’ That meant a lot. We played them again later in 2001, in the state tournament, and they beat us, 3-1, in a much better game. I’ve always had the highest regard for Carl. He certainly deserves this moment. I just wish I could be there, but our team has a game that day, at the time of the dedication.”
Belleville plans to honor Corino around 2 p.m. on April 23, after the Bucs play a varsity game against New Providence at 11:30 a.m.