Cedar Grove softball coach Nicole Velardi has been very impressed with the play of junior outfielder Gianna Kubu.
“She’s doing a great job for us,” said Velardi. “Gianna has a great attitude, overall, works hard and leads by example. It’s been great to see her taking a leadership role for us this year.”
Kubu had three hits in as many at-bats in Cedar Grove’s 10-0 win, in 6 innings, against Nutley, on April 24. She also had seven hits in her last 13 at-bats, heading into the Black and Gold Tournament, which Cedar Grove will host on April 27.
Gianna takes a swing during recent game. (Click on photos for larger image)
Here’s more on the tournament. https://mikelamberti.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/if-history-is-any-indicator-the-annual-black-and-gold-softball-tournament-at-cedar-grove-on-april-27-will-feature-some-exciting-games-great-food-and-a-lot-of-fun/?fbclid=IwAR0jTjnd5JRcIQihx8Y1mzPjw8lK8t9WoczfgxwwpOtWdN1ozWL0E1yGm44
Kubu has been playing right field, which in Cedar Grove’s defensive alignment, is key.
“We have a tremendous pitcher in Mia Faieta, and teams, especially with right-handed hitters, do not pull the ball much against her,” said Velardi. “That makes right field that much more important, and having Gianna out there solidifies our outfield. For that matter, she’s very versatile and can play anywhere in the outfield.
Kubu also scored twice and drove in a pair of runs against a good Nutley team. Brittney Taylor and Ryan Cannataro had two hits each for the Panthers and Taylor and Chloe Weinstein scored two runs a piece. Junior catcher Jules Cicala continues to do a tremendous job on defense.
Cedar Grove will take on Pope John at the Black and Gold Tournament, at 3 p.m., before going back to work in Super Essex Conference play. The Panthers will host Verona on April 29 and have a big game at Mount St. Dominic, on May 2. The team also has an out-of-conference contest on May 1, at home against Wayne Valley, in a 6 p.m. start.
Cedar Grove is the top seed for the Essex County Tournament, as the Panthers will seek to repeat as the champions. The last time time Cedar Grove won back-to-back county titles was in 1979 and 1980.