Montclair Kimberley softball ad libs in the circle, rallies for .500 record in the spring
The Montclair Kimberley softball team found itself without a trained pitcher for the 2022 season and had to improvise.
Both senior Amanda West and sophomore Lucy Osterberg chipped in the best they could and pitched in the circle, the most pivotal position in softball.
"Amanda really stepped up for us, and she did quite well in most games in the circle," said MKA head coach Jessica Sarfati. "She pitched along with Lucy Osterberg, who was a sophomore this season."
Despite the pitching situation, the Cougars finished at .500, with a 10-10 mark, and qualified for the state playoffs. They also won a game in the Prep B Tournament, 10-0, over Morristown Beard on May 9.
All of this came as the team moved to Mountainside Park on Upper Mountain Road to play its games, as the Montclair Kimberley Middle School natural grass field was being replaced with a synthetic turf surface this past spring.
"Overall, I was really happy with the season," Sarfati said. "We showed a lot of heart and dedication to the team this year, every single one of us. Everyone in our lineup was able to make something happen this season, and it helped us work our way back in so many games."
Montclair Kimberley finished the season on a high note by winning four out of its final six contests.
Junior shortstop Alex Berra and sophomore outfielder Ellie LoPiccolo led the Cougars and collected All Super Essex Conference Colonial Division first-team nods. It is the second year in a row that Berra was named to the All SEC first team.
On the second Colonial team is senior second baseman Lara Pramanik and sophomore outfielder Hunter Levine.
West, who in addition to pitching played outfield and third base, was named to the Colonial honorable mention list.
Berra was one of the team’s top hitters and had the toughest position on the field at shortstop. She led the Cougars in RBI with 25 while hitting .408.
"She was a terrific leader, and I am looking forward to watching her grow and step up even more in her senior season," Sarfati said. "She hits consistently in the three spot, and she did well there."
LoPiccolo made big strides in her sophomore season, the coach said, and led MKA in batting with a .508 average, as well as in runs with 32 and hits with 29. She had power as the MKA leadoff hitter.
Levine was the second-leading scorer for the Cougars this past spring and had a .458 batting average. "She had a very solid season in the outfield and did a great job of moving runners in scoring position," Sarfati said.
Pramanik was a solid leader and also played solidly in the infield. She contributed offensively with a .425 average.
West received the team's MVP award for her versatility. "She got the MVP award this season for her dedication to the team," the coach said.