By Wayne Witkowski
Allentown High School softball coach Kim Maurer almost wished she could grab a bat and go to the plate.
That’s the frustration she felt in her team’s tailspin at the end of its 14-12 season, which concluded with a 4-1 loss to Moorestown High School in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group III tournament May 23. Allentown had beaten Moorestown, 13-3, earlier in the season. Only twice in the last 12 games did the Redbirds score more than three runs in a game, and Madison Storey drove in the only run in the final game. Allentown won only three of its last 14 games.
“We just couldn’t hit, couldn’t move runners,” Maurer said, as her team left the bases loaded in one inning and twice stranded two runners in scoring position against Moorestown. “Kayla [Peterson] did a great job, and she’s not a strikeout pitcher. Timely hitting wasn’t there.”
But it’s a young team with all but four starters returning, including Peterson, although one of them — right fielder Alyssa Ariano — was the best hitter, batting .409 with 16 RBIs. Another departing senior, Brianna McGowan, missed half the season with an injury, which prompted Maurer to move Storey, a sophomore, from first base to a better-suited position considering her talents behind the plate. Freshman Grace Dawson played a lot at first base instead of in the outfield. Shortstop Carly Bailey is the other senior starter.
Peterson (9-10) had an ERA of about 4.00 with 35 strikeouts and 15 walks. Heather Devine, a sophomore who split her time on the mound (3-2) and at designated hitter, and freshman Sam Einstein, who threw seven innings, will be the main pitchers next season. Devine built some good numbers with a 1.70 ERA in 33 innings pitched with 26 strikeouts and 11 walks.
Freshman Alyssa Notarianni returns at third base. She batted .404 with 31 RBIs and belted eight doubles and five home runs. Maurer said Notarianni also was solid on defense. Junior Shae Dominici is back at second base, and Sarina Campanella returns to center field.
Outdoor track and field
Sophomores Devon Hoernlein and Kassidy Mulryne from Allentown’s girls team advanced to the June 8 NJSIAA Meet of Champions at Central Regional High School off sixth-place finishes in their respective events at the Group III championships at Northern Burlington County Regional High School.
Hoernlein ran a time of 11:07.64 in the 3,200 meters, while Mulryne jumped 5-2 in the high jump.
Ocean Township High School eliminated Allentown, 5-4, in 11 innings May 26 in the opening game of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group III tournament. Ryan Huth pitched 3.1 innings of solid relief following starter Jordan Winston, as Allentown ended its season at 12-11.
Kali Hartshorn, who is head to the University of Maryland, scored both goals in Allentown’s 17-2 loss to Moorestown May 26 in the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group III semifinals.
Hartshorn finished the season with 71 goals and 45 assists, as Allentown ended with a 13-6 record. Hartshorn’s sister, Marin, finished with 48 goals and 27 assists. Alyssa Sloane had 34 goals and 22 assists.
Junior Connor Provost scored three goals and senior Kyle Moore fired in two, but Allentown lost, 9-6, to Ocean City High School May 18 in the opening round of the South Jersey, Group II tournament to end its season at 6-10.
Provost finished with 24 goals and 18 assists, and senior Michael Dacey followed with 23 goals and 19 assists. Senior Kyle Moore had 20 goals, and junior James Niebling had 18 goals and 11 assists. Senior Kevin Moore had 18 goals and seven assists.