In a season where Livingston struggled to gain that ‘Big Green Machine’ mentality, want to guess where the Lancers will be on Friday?
Back in the state sectional finals.
Livingston continued its run in North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4, with an impressive 6-0 victory over third-seeded North Bergen, behind the two-hit pitching of senior righty Sydney McCormack (Syd The Kid).
Jason Daily’s team will face old time rival Morris Knolls for the sectional crown on June 4, in Denville. Livingston last played for a sectional title in 2013, when it defeated Knolls for the championship, behind the pitching of Jess Peslak.
Livingston (16-11) jumped out quickly, scoring once in the first when Emma Cooney singled and scored on a triple by Blake Saperstein.
Leading 2-0, the Lancers added four big runs in the fifth to put the game away. The big hit was a three-run double by Allie ‘Rolls‘ Royce that extended the lead to 5-0.
“Allie must have fouled off six or seven pitches,” said Daily. “North Bergen’s pitcher was working the corners, and pitching away. Allie stayed aggressive at the plate, and finally got a good pitch to hit.”
Royce came around to score Livingston’s sixth run on a double by Julia Viggiano.
McCormack, who has been outstanding in the state tournament, pitched her best game, to date, with the complete-game shutout.
“Syd was on target the entire game,” said Daily. “She’s given us a tremendous effort, and today, our bats also did the job. We’ll have a tough game coming up against a good Knolls team, but we’re there, and we’ll be looking forward to it.”
En route to the final, Livingston has wins over second seeded Kearny and third seeded North Bergen.
West Essex will seek its first sectional crown in six years, thanks to a hard-fought, 1-0 win over a tough Indian Hills team, in North Caldwell.
The Knights (25-2) got three hits from Bridget (Over Troubled Water) Betley, a marvelous 3-hit shutout from junior Sami Huetter (Canonero II) and the game-winning hit, a single by Amanda Garofalo, which drove in Lilly James with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
West Essex will host Sparta in the sectional final. Sparta is the defending sectional champ, in North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3 and advanced to the Group 3 championship game last season.