Essex Softball: Montclair and Glen Ridge show promise; ‘A Day for Dina’ set for April 13, at the Corino Softball Complex, in Belleville, to honor the late Dina DeAquino

It was an early-season Super Essex Conference (SEC) crossover game, on a Saturday afternoon, with (finally!) some decent weather.

And while it might not mean a great deal as the season progresses, Montclair and Glen Ridge gave a good account of itself on a sparkling day at Glenfield Park, in Montclair, which is actually Glen Ridge’s home field.

Montclair won the game, 9-2, but both teams showed a lot of good signs. For Montclair, there was some crisp hitting and clutch pitching while Glen Ridge displayed good defense, especially in the outfield.

“We’re making progress,” said Glen Ridge coach Rachael Hogan. “I’m glad our outfielders got some notice. We’ve spent a lot of time working with them, and they came up some nice plays today. Montclair hit the ball really well, and it was good see our kids make plays. Games like this will only help us.”

Montclair coach Mike Goldstein was also impressed, with both teams.

“I thought we hit the ball well and played pretty good defense, and Glen Ridge’s kids made some nice plays, too,” said Goldstein. “As the weather gets warmer, we’ll see better quality games and today was a good indication.”

Glen Ridge plays in the SEC Colonial while Montclair competes in the SEC’s Liberty Division. Both squads are young.

“I like where our program is headed,” said Goldstein. “We’re young and getting better. Our numbers overall are good, too.”

The Mounties were led by Francesca Testa and Aliyah Andrews, each of whom had three hits. Testa also scored twice and hit a double and triple.

“She (Testa) is a tremendous player,” said Goldstein of the senior shortstop. “She gets us going.”

Charlotte Carr and Madeline Flynn had two hits each for Montclair. Flynn is a sophomore and Carr, a junior.

In the circle, Emily Amirata pitched four solid innings and got the win while Aliya Andrews hurled three strong innings in her first outing of the season, after battling an injury. Andrews could be a key to Montclair’s pitching rotation this spring. Amirata and Andrews combined to scatter just five hits.

While Montclair hit the ball well, Glen Ridge stepped up with some good defense. The outfield play of Catie Lamberson, Taylor Townson and Olivia Link kept the Mounties from scoring more. Freshman catcher Elettra Giantomenico, who is quickly becoming a big 3-sport star for the Ridgers, had a hit, RBI and stolen base and Lamberson and Ava Rollo also had a hit and RBI. Elizabeth Komorowski had a hit and scored once.

Glen Ridge spent a few days in Florida in March, preparing for the 2019 season. (Click on photo for larger image)

A special day is nearing for the Belleville High softball program. On April 13, the Bucs will host four varsity softball games, with the theme”A Day for Dina’, as the team and community remembers the late Dina DeAquino.

Dina died last year after a valiant battle with cancer, at the age of 52. In the long and storied history of Belleville High softball, DeAquino is considered by many as one of the first dominant players in the program’s history, especially as a pitcher.

There will be four games played at the Corino Softball Complex, at Clearman Field, on April 13, with the plans to remember DeAquino in between the second and third game.

This is the list of games.

Montclair vs. Lyndhurst at 9:30 a.m.

Belleville vs. Leonia at 11:30 a.m.

A celebration will follow the Belleville-Leonia game, with a few speakers talking about Dina, including former head coach, Carl Corino. 

Cedar Grove vs. Union Catholic vs. Cedar Grove at 2 p.m.

Fair Lawn vs. Hanover Park, at 4 p.m.

There’s much more on Dina’s legacy by clicking on the link below.

By mike051893

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