Montclair softball’s bats are sizzling to start the Spring
The Montclair High School softball team is off to a good start, but squad members know they still have work to do.
The Mounties ended last week with a 10-0 victory at West Orange on Wednesday, April 13, in a Super Essex Conference Liberty Division matchup. The victory raised Montclair’s mark to 5-1.
Montclair head coach Michael Goldstein said the effort is there early on, but the results have been “uneven” so far this season, especially in the field.
“I like the attitude of the team and I like the work ethic,” Goldstein said. “We have been or played a bit uneven to date, and I would like to see more consistency in our pitching and defense.”
But the Mounties offense was on fire for the first six games. Montclair outscored its opponents 92-30 and had three shutouts.
In the win over West Orange Montclair put everything together.
“I felt we played our most consistent game against West Orange, all three facets of the game, pitching, defense and timely hitting,” Goldstein said.
The lone loss so far, 14-11 at Glen Ridge, was a tough pill to swallow. “We had bases loaded in five of the seven innings and scored one run or less in all of those innings,” the coach said.
Three players have contributed mightily to the Mounties’ offensive explosion — senior Remi Antinoro, junior Alana Flynn and sophomore Hannah Martin. All have 10 or more RBI on the season. Add in freshman Brooklyn Awad, who already has 18 runs scored and a dozen stolen bases, and opponents will have to deal with a potent offensive lineup this season.
“We have a much deeper lineup than we had last season,” Goldstein said. “I feel like every player in our lineup has the ability to be productive, and I don’t feel like we have any automatic outs.”
Antinoro has been doing it across the board, with a dozen hits, a dozen runs scored and a dozen RBI.
“Remi is a terrific athlete that happens to play softball,” the coach said. “She would have been great at any sport she chose, and we are fortunate she chose softball.
“She has become a more disciplined hitter, swinging at better pitches and clearly more selective at the plate. She has raw power, which always makes her a dangerous hitter.”
Flynn has contributed with the bat with 10 RBI, but it is her continued improvement in the circle that will determine success for the Mounties when the season is decided in June.
“Alana has to continue to throw strikes, which she has done at a far greater pace than she did last year,” Goldstein said. “The key to her success is to hit her spots and allow an excellent defense to play behind her.”
Despite missing a couple of games because of illness, Martin has 11 runs, 10 hits and 11 RBI, and she has just started to hit.
“Hannah Martin is still warming up the engines,” Goldstein said. “She is a lethal hitter who combines a true understanding of the game with immense talent.”
The Mounties have some key SEC Liberty contests coming up, as they host Caldwell on Friday, April 22 (4 p.m.) and have a rematch with Glen Ridge at home on April 25 (4 p.m.).