Millburn put together a tremendous season in 2016, finishing 22-4 while advancing to the NJSIAA, North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 semifinals.
The Millers also won a second straight Super Essex Conference (SEC) Colonial Division title, and will more than likely move up a division in 2017, to the SEC Liberty.
Head coach John Childs had a somewhat veteran team this year, and will lose some valuable seniors to graduation this month. Next season could still be pretty good for Millburn, however, with a solid nucleus returning.
“We put up some good numbers,” said Childs. “The kids worked hard and it was a pleasure coaching them.”
Millburn also showed its mettle against the SEC’s toughest conference, giving Nutley a good game before losing in extra innings, then defeating Bloomfield later that day, as part of a tournament held at Nutley. It also won two games in the NJISAA Tournament, before losing to Piscataway, 5-3, in the sectional semifinals. Piscataway was defeated by the eventual Group 4 champion, Watchung Hills, in a close sectional championship game.
Rachel Hubertus, a junior shortstop, was phenomenal, batting .662 with an on-base percentage of .837. Her slugging mark was 1.394. Hubertus hit 12 homers, six doubles and five triples while stealing 12 bases, scoring 56 runs and drawing 20 walks.
“Rachel had a .935 fielding percentage,” said Childs, noting the junior made just six errors in 92 chances. “She’s been tremendous at the plate, hitting .663 last year and .662 this season.”
Hubertus set a team record for runs scored in a season, breaking her own mark of 52, set in 2016. She also put herself in somewhat glorified air by passing former Millburn great and later University of Notre Dame standout Alexa Maldonado, for career RBI. Hubertus enters 2017 with 136 ribbies. Maldonado had 101 during her career. Hubertus’ career batting mark, of .618, is also a record, surpassing Maldonado’s .525. (Both were/are Millburn shortstops).
Senior pitcher and outfielder Jenna Dembner put together some solid numbers. In the circle, she was 12-0 with a 1.94 ERA. At the plate, Dembner hit .515 with 38 runs scored. She also homered twice and had 35 hits.
Anna Mandel, a senior catcher, batted .535, with 38 hits, with a .690 slugging mark and .554 on-base percentage.