Nutley’s Emily Holden may be a surprise to some of the fans of Essex County softball, with her tremendous pitching and timely hitting in 2016.
But for Holden’s coach, Luann Zullo, as well as the current group of Raiders, Emily is just being Emily.
Holden joined a list of Essex stars who attained their 100th career hit on May 12, as she was 2-for-3 in a phenomenal game against Mount St. Dominic. Hit number 100 was her second of that game. (Also attaining 100 hits on 5/12 were Kate Jencarelli (West Essex), Sam Corio (Bloomfield) and Rebecca Mandelbaum (Newark Academy).
And by the way, she pitched okay, too, against Mount St. Dominic.
How does 18 strikeouts sound?
Nutley lost the game game to Lions, 4-1, in 10 innings, as the Mount rallied from 1-0 down in the bottom of the 10th inning to score four times, including a walk-off, three-run homer, by as clutch a player as there is in these parts, Jules Kocenski.
Nevertheless, Holden (Genuine Risk) continues to impress, with each game. The Ithaca-bound righty is a main cog behind Nutley’s 17-4 start. Among her accomplishments this season was 16 consecutive innings of shutout ball against a great Mount lineup.
“She’s a tremendous all-around kid,” said Zullo. “Emily is so unassuming. She just goes out and plays hard. She loves to compete.”
Other coaches have been impressed, too. When West Essex edged Nutley earlier this season, in North Caldwell, West Essex coach Andrea Mondadori said, “you have to give that kid a (stud) name. She’s incredible.”
Mount St. Dominic’s Twitter account lauded praises for Holden after the May 12 classic.
Montclair coach Phil Delgado commended Holden for her poise and ability to dig deep when it counted most.
Holden not only excels on the athletic front, she’s also an excellent student. She’ll attend Ithaca College this fall, and pursue one of the toughest majors out there, a six-year program in Physical Therapy, that will land her a bachelor’s and master’s Degree, once completed. (See related article https://mikelamberti.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/nutleys-holden-makes-genuine-choice-to-attend-ithaca-college-demaio-will-play-at-felician-university-this-fall/
Holden and the Raiders will have some huge games coming up, starting on May 14, when the Raiders host Cedar Grove in an Essex County Tournament quarterfinal game.
Entering the Cedar Grove game, Holden had recorded 210 strikeouts and was hitting .356.
“We’re very proud of her,” said Zullo. “We’ve had some great kids in this program over the years, and Emily is certainly one of them.”