SOMERS POINT — The Atlantic Shore Babe Ruth 14-year-old all-stars are in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Tournament by virtue of being the host team. The past few days, the boys from A-Shore have been out to prove they belong in this tournament.
UNION — With a penchant to come from behind, as it did in each of its last three games, the Egg Harbor Township High School softball team never stopped believing it would once again overcome an early deficit in the state championship game on Friday night.
OCEAN CITY — Give Ocean City senior right-hander Sean Mooney one run, and you might as well just pack your bags and go home. Ball game is over.
Mooney — like he has been all season — was lights out on Friday against Highland in the South Jersey Group 3 championship game, blazing through the Tartans' lineup as the Red Raiders cruised to a 5-0 victory, and a title that has eluded this year's seniors for the past three seasons.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Kids everywhere, when they are alone in their backyard swinging a bat, fantasize about being the hero of the game. They dream of getting that big hit that wins the game — and a championship — for the hometown team. So rarely in the game of baseball or softball does that dream scenario come true. On Friday afternoon, Egg Harbor Township first baseman Ella Glenn lived that dream.
LANOKA HARBOR — Through the first four innings of Thursday's South Jersey Group 3 championship game, fifth-seeded Mainland Regional was in the driver's seat. Bailey Arena was twirling a no-hitter, and the offense put up three runs in the top of the second to take a 3-0 lead. But the third-seeded Lacey Township Lions lived up to their nickname, roaring back for a 7-3 victory that sealed the school's first sectional softball championship.
OCEAN CITY — For the past two seasons, Mainland Regional has won championships by putting the ball in play and putting pressure on opposing defenses, getting great starting pitching, and playing solid defense. On Wednesday, rival Ocean City took a page out of the Mustangs' playbook to survive a tense South Jersey Group 3 semifinal matchup against Mainland and end the Mustangs' two-year reign as sectional champions.
Like Tom Petty says, the waiting has been the hardest part.
The Ocean City and Mainland Regional baseball teams — bitter rivals on the field — each earned their way into the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals with wins last week, then had to spend the entire Memorial Day weekend thinking about the matchup they had been anticipating all year. The players had to wait an extra day as well, as the field at Ocean City was unplayable on Tuesday due to Monday's rain.
It looks as though the game is on for today, however, with the temperature expected to be around 75 degrees under sunny skies at the scheduled 4 p.m. start.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Decades from now, it will simply be known as "The Catch."
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning of the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals, Egg Harbor Township left fielder Bri Lagroteria made a play that will be etched in the memory of Eagles softball fans for years to come.
LINWOOD — Two years ago, Kyle Gerace became a playoff star when, as a sophomore, he came through with several big-time outings on the hill to help lead the Mainland Regional baseball team to a South Jersey Group 3 and overall Group 3 championship. Current sophomore Nick Atohi — one of the heroes of last summer's Atlantic Shore Babe Ruth world series-winning team — looks to be following in Gerace's footsteps after a dominating win over Lacey Township on Thursday that put the host Mustangs one step closer to their third straight sectional championship.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — If any parents have little girls who are interested in playing softball and they need proper instruction, moms and dads should be driving them to Egg Harbor Township to watch the Eagles play.
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