Montclair had turned a few heads when it rallied from 11-3 down, in the sixth inning, on April 9, to surprise Columbia, 15-12, in a game that head coach Mike Goldstein called one of the most bizarre games he had ever seen.
Nine days later, the Mounties won what Goldstein called the best game he’s coached in, when Montclair rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to stun Nutley, 10-8, in a game at Nutley which was actually Montclair’s home game.
Montclair improved to 6-3 as the young team continued to swing an aggressive bat.
“That’s what we have to do,” said Goldstein. “We’ve got some good kids here, but we’re young and making our share of mistakes. We had lost a tough game to Bloomfield (6-3, on April 17), and I was a little down, especially coming to Nutley, which has a tremendous team. This was a big win for us, the biggest since I’ve been here.”
Goldstein is in his second year as the team’s head coach. He was an assistant in 2017 and also served as an assistant coach to Dan Roberts, who held the head coaching job from 2013-2014.
Nutley (4-4) was actually playing its second game of the day. The Raiders had edged Lenape Valley, 3-2, in 9 innings, on its home field, as freshman pitcher Fallyn Stoeckel spun a complete-game, 5-hitter and scored the game-winning run.
“She is the real deal,” said Goldstein of Stoeckel. “She hits the ball well, is a tremendous pitcher, and can do anything out there. She reminds me of (former Nutley star) Carly Anderson, and with Fallyn being a lefty, she adds another dimension to her game.”
Remi Antinoro, a freshman, had two hits and two RBI, while Francesca Testa scored twice, Charlotte Carr had three hits and drove in a pair and Milani Davis had two hits for Montclair.
Aliyah Andrews overcame a shaky first inning to pitch a complete game for the Mounties, giving up just one run over the final five innings.
History in softball do go hand-in-hand, as do friendships between opposing players, many of whom are club teammates in the summer.
Bloomfield’s Katie Bretz slides into second as Sam Burggraf awaits the throw for Newark Academy. (Photo by The Great Jerry Simon. Click on photo for larger image)
Such is the case between Newark Academy’s Sam Burggraf and Bloomfield’s Lexi Corio. In a 2016 game at Clark’s Pond, in Bloomfield, Burggraf, then a freshman, hit what appeared to be a homer, only to see Sam Corio, Lexi’s older sister, make THE CATCH, reaching over the centerfield fence to deny Burggraf a homer.
Lexi (right) and Sam, good friends off the field and competitors, on it. (Click on photo for larger image)
Nearly three years later, Lexi, a junior pitcher, faced Burggraf, at The Pond, and this time it was Burggraf who did hit a homer. Corio would also play a good game for the Bengals, as Bloomfield won, 18-12, to improve to 6-3, after a slow start to the 2019 season.
Afterward, Burggraf and Corio, who play club ball in the summer, were all smiles, looking back at some good memories and thinking ahead to another meeting between Bloomfield and Newark Academy this season, and what should be some good times this summer, when they both wear the same uniform.
Ryleigh White pitched a 2-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Ashlynn Corra was 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBI and two runs scored as Immaculate Heart Academy improved to 9-0 with a 10-0 win over Ridgewood, in 6 innings, at IHA.
Emily Gyongyosi scored three runs for IHA, who will be back in action on April 20, playing Mount Olive, in Saddle Brook, at noon.