The smile never seems to waver, whether it’s a win, or a loss.
Mia Faieta of Cedar Grove has learned to love playing softball for the simple joy of competition. But even she had to be surprised by what happened on May 26, in a state sectional semifinal win over North Warren.
Faieta struck out every batter she faced in a seven inning perfect game, as Cedar Grove (19-7) advanced to the NJSIAA, North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 championship game, at Verona, scheduled for May 30, after a 4-0 win over a tough North Warren squad.
After throwing the gem, Faieta was greeted by her mother, Fran, as well as Cedar Grove fans who kidded she wasn’t throwing the ball hard enough. Typically, the sophomore just smiled, as she soaked in the accomplishment in what was Cedar Grove’s last home game of the 2017 season.
“My ball was moving pretty well,” ‘California Chrome‘ said. “I used about four different pitches. Sometimes you have to adjust to a home plate umpire’s zone, but today, everything I threw was in the strike zone and the umpire seemed to recognize that. I started feeling more and more comfortable as the game went on.”
North Warren, which won its conference in 2017, played a solid game after a tough first inning.
“They were tough,” said Cedar Grove coach Nicole Velardi of North Warren. “They played good defense and their pitcher was on. But, obviously, Mia was tremendous.”
Fans raved about Faieta’s velocity and control.
“You won’t see anything like that again,” one fan said. “Twenty one straight strikeouts? No walks? Think about that.”
“It’s a good win for our team,” she said. “We get to move on and play for a sectional championship against Verona, who has a really good team this year. Our goal is to win a state title.”
Fran Faieta, Mia’s mother, couldn’t have been prouder, both with the pitching and her daughter preparing her own breakfast the morning of the game.
“Yeah, she made her own breakfast, I was surprised,” said Fran with a laugh, as she hugged her daughter after the game. “Mia was something else today. Most importantly, it was a good win for her team, especially at home.”