Montclair softball vying for upset in states
Montclair softball's tough schedule this season resulted in a 12-14 record in the regular season with most of the losses coming in one of the top divisions in the state.
Despite that rigid schedule – including the Super Essex Conference American Division, possibly the top division in New Jersey – the Mounties were handed a 12th seed out of 16 in North 1 Group 4.
Unfortunately for Montclair, the power points ended up with the Mounties taking on an SEC American rival, Columbia, in the state sectional first round on Tuesday, May 23, at 4 p.m. in South Orange.
During the regular season, the Mounties lost both games against the Cougars (5-0 on April 14 and 8-0 on May 15). In the first loss, Montclair stayed with the Cougars for most of the game. In the second contest, Columbia put up five runs in the fourth inning.
Despite the two defeats, there is a path to victory for Montclair and head coach Mike Goldstein said that he will use both their pitchers in senior Alana Flynn and freshman Marley Kim in the hope of keeping Columbia off balance.
If the Mounties pitching does its job, the offense will need to make a better effort with the bat, not only to finally put a run on the board, but to also average more than three hits in the two games against the Cougars. Montclair could face either of the Columbia pitchers, senior Mady Rowell or freshman Claire Shupe.
For the Mounties to pull off the upset, they will have to get contributions especially for their top hitters in Flynn, junior Hannah Martin, sophomore Savannah Seawell, sophomore Brooklyn Awad and junior Maya Gerdes.
If Montclair can pull off the upset at Columbia, they will take on the winner of fifth-seeded Union City vs. 12th-seeded Kearny in the state sectional quarterfinals on Friday, May 26.