by Andrew Garda

The Montclair High School softball team lost in the opening round of the Essex County Tournament to Livingston Monday afternoon by a score of 12-2. The 11-seed Mounties jumped out to a two-run lead in the first, but 6-seed Livingston came back strong with five runs in the bottom half of the inning and never looked back.

While the Mounties kept finding ways on base with walks and the occasional hit, after the first inning they struggled to get runners on consistently and couldn't score again.

The first inning the Mounties were able to generate offense, as Sofie Fachin drew a walk and advanced to second when Francesca Testa got a base hit. Then pitcher Jessica Masur drove the ball for a double, sending both players home.

Then the Lancers scored their first five runs and the Mounties struggled to string together another set of hits like they had in the first inning.

Masur did a very good job of settling down after her rough first inning, blanking the Lancers for the next two. Unfortunately a few errors by the Mounties and some good hitting from Livingston got the team into trouble in the bottom of the fourth when MHS allowed another five runs.

Coach Valerie Tauriello tried to get something going in the fifth when she subbed in Khristina Cassanova for Aliyah Taylor and Carli Miller for Seniah Thompson, but both struck out swinging and while Lily Silverstein drove the ball deep, Livingston was able to make the catch.

The Lancers added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth and the game drew to a close.

The Mounties have little time to reboot as they face Bayonne High School on Tuesday and then Linden at home on Thursday.

For in-depth coverage of the Mounties game against the Livingston Lancers, check out Thursday's edition of the Montclair Local.