As Derby Day nears, Oh fans 16 and No. 1 Mount St. Dominic dominates, with 2 shutout wins; Faieta continues her run; IHA’s Dudek excels in the clutch, again; Masur comes up big; Teshkoyans in rarefied air, reach 1,000 wins

With the Kentucky Derby set for May 6, the studs are taking center stage. In Essex County softball, that’s always the case, but last week, it was very apparent.

Mount St. Dominic won both its games at its tournament on April 29, blanking Red Bank Catholic, 9-0, and St. Anthony (NY), 4-0.

Kelsey Oh (American Pharoah) was brilliant, pitching a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts in the win over St. Anthony after Julianna Kocenski spun a shutout in the opening game.

Mount St. Dominic’s pitching is tremendous. Oh is Oh, and she’s incredible, but Kocenski and freshman Ali Winters will continue the winning tradition next year for the Lions. Winters, just a freshman, pitched an excellent game on May 1 against West Essex.

Head coach Lorenzo Sozio’s Lions have a big game scheduled on May 4, at Ivy Hill Park, opposite a strong Notre Dame team, starting at 7 p.m. Could be a preview of the Non-Public A championship, in what is a very talented state bracket.

Mia Faieta (California Chrome) had another big week in the circle, as the Cedar Grove sophomore struck out 15 and threw a 1-hitter in a win over Columbia. Faieta is averaging nearly 15 strikeouts a game.

Mia Faieta (right) is pitching lights out for Cedar Grove. (Click on photos for larger images)

Immaculate Heart Academy’s Ally Dudek made a Sam Corio-type catch in her teams win over Newark Academy on April 29, at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, in Park Ridge. Dudek reached over the left field fence to deny a homer by Sam Burggraf. Ironically, in May, 2016, Corio leaped at the fence, in Bloomfield, to rob the talented Burggraf of a homer. (And if you’ve seen Burggraf play, you know there will be a lot more balls hit way over the fence, as there already have been, that won’t be caught. That kid can flat out hit).

The unassuming Dudek is the new ‘Alysheba‘. She just makes plays, both in left field, and at the plate. It was Dudek’s single that scored Reagan Jones with the winning run two weeks ago in a marvelous game against West Essex, as the Eagles won, 2-1, at the Black and Gold Tournament. And don’t forget, on June 6, 2015, as a sophomore, Dudek also singled home Jones with the game-winning run, and this time, it was for a state championship, as IHA defeated Notre Dame, 1-0, at Kean University.

The new ‘Alysheba’, Ally Dudek, of IHA, here with Coach Fasano. (Click on photos for larger images)

“She’s so underrated,” said IHA coach Diana Fasano of Dudek. “Ally always seems to make a big play and is in the right place, at the right time.”

Dudek plans to attend the University of Dayton this fall.

Another stud is back in form at Montclair, as Jess Masur (Nyquist) spun a shutout against Cedar Grove on May 1, 2-0. Masur led Montclair to the Essex County Tournament championship game in 2016 and now appears to be hitting her dominant form, as the Mounties look to repeat last year’s heroics, as well as earning a berth in the NJSIAA Tournament, which eluded the team a year ago.

What more can you say about Caldwell coaches Mike Teshkoyan and his brother, Mark Teshkoyan? The all time winningest coach in Essex County softball (644 wins, and counting) garnered his 1,000th career win as a varsity head coach, all at Caldwell, last week as the Chiefs downed Montclair Kimberley, on April 28.

The Teshkoyans also coach the girls soccer team at Caldwell, where the duo has accounted for 356 victories.

The Teshkoyans, Mike (left) and Mark.

Photo taken by Steve Tober of

“Sharing this milestone with Mark is at the top of the list for me, we’ve been together for 63 seasons, and I couldn’t run our two programs without his loyalty, dedication and passion for trying to make our teams the best they can be,” said Mike Teshkoyan of his brother.
Will have much more on the milestone in an upcoming blog.
Here is the updated FMTC, Top 10. Montclair moves up and Millburn jumps in.


1-Mount St. Dominic (13-4)

2-West Essex (13-3)

3-Cedar Grove (11-5)

4-Verona (13-2)

5-Montclair (6-7)

6-Nutley (7-7)

7-Livingston (7-8)

8-Bloomfield (10-7)

9-Caldwell (8-5)

10-Milburn (8-7)



Olivia Sprofera, Citation

Sami Huetter, Canonero II

Alexa Vardiman, Funny Cide

Jessie Masur, Nyquist

Reese Guevarra, Sunday Silence

Kelsey Oh, American Pharoah

Mia Faieta, California Chrome

Ally Dudek, Alysheba

By mike051893

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