West Essex has its sights set on winning the school’s first Essex County Tournament championship in nine years this coming weekend. The second-seeded Knights will take on a tough Cedar Grove team in the first semi, at 5 p.m. on May 20, at Ivy Hill Park. The winner will return to Ivy Hill on May 21, to face the Montclair-Livingston victor, for the championship.
Head coach Andrea Mondadori is taking nothing for granted. Her team has been playing outstanding softball of late, including a 3-2 victory over Ridgewood on May 18, in North Caldwell.
The win was West Essex’s fifth straight, since an extra-inning loss to Montclair. And West Essex, the second seed in the ECT, continues to swing the bat effectively. From 1-9 in the lineup, the Knights are dangerous, and in the win over Ridgewood, Sami Huetter (Canonero II) did the job, both in the circle, and at the plate.
Huetter hit a long-two-run homer, as part of a three-run fourth inning. She then finished the job in the circle, pitching another complete game, striking out six, walking two, scattering seven hits and yielding just one earned run.
“We had a great game today,” said Mondadori . “Our defense was tremendous. Ridgewood left 11 on base, which is a credit to Sami’s clutch pitching and some good work in the field. Obviously, Ridgewood is an outstanding team. Playing them will help us, as we prepare for a very good Cedar Grove team on Friday.”
Madison Gemma drove in the other run for West Essex. Bridget (Over Troubled Water) Betley, Huetter and Kate Jencarelli all scored runs for the Knights. Rachel Rodriguez had a double and Julia Vardiman singled for West Essex.
West Essex will be off on Thursday, then will head to Ivy Hill for Friday’s ECT semifinal.