Newark Academy had a chance to celebrate one of its best players when senior Sam Burggraf collected her 100th career hit, in a game against Montclair, at home, on April 16.
The articulate and reflective Burggraf had a chance to look back at what got her to the century mark, as well as a bright future, which includes her college selection of Babson College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, beginning this fall, where she’ll continue to play softball.
The unassuming Burggraf joined a nice club on April 16. (Click on photo for larger image. Thanks to Andrea Burggraf for the photo)
“My 100th hit was truly meaningful to me, because of what it symbolized,” said Burggraf. “Softball entails a lot of ups and downs, and playing with such great teammates ensures that you have a great support group to cheer you on and pick you up, no matter what.
“My teammates made the 100th hit celebration really great, and the past four years equally special. The hit also brought a lot of memories to mind, such as winning the Prep Tournament my sophomore year, and our appearances in state final games. More than that, I remember lots of laughs, adrenaline filled seventh inning comebacks, and the excitement of being able to play against my club teammates during the season.”
Burggraf has been Newark Academy’s third baseman since her freshman year. She’s been one of the team’s best power hitters since 2016.
In addition to being a good hitter, Sam has been a reliable defensive player for Newark Academy. (Click on photo for larger image)
One of the first people to congratulate Burggraf on social media was Samantha Corio, a good friend of Sam’s, who played for Bloomfield High. In 2016, Corio, then a senior, made a catch for the ages, when she cleared the centerfield fence to deny a homer. The ball was hit by Burggraf.
And, ironically, Corio collected her 100th career hit in that same game.
Burggraf was denied a hit, and a homer, in this 2016 game by her good friend, Samantha Corio. (Click on photo for larger image)
The daughter of Andrea and Gary Burggraf and granddaughter of Rich Badishkanian, who never misses a game, Sam is very appreciative of her family’s support.
“I cannot quite put into words how supportive and encouraging my family has been through every step of the softball process,” she said. “But I am extremely grateful for everything they have done for me. My 100th hit epitomized the incredible impact softball has had on my life, and I hope to continue all of the lessons and memories as I begin my college career at Babson College this upcoming September.”