By Jimmy Allinder
When it comes to varsity sports, nothing can substitute the experience of being thrown into pressure situations, and East Brunswick High School multi-talented athlete Allie Warren knows that better than most.
When the senior stepped up to the plate against Hightstown High School June 3 with the game tied 2-2 and the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV softball title on the line, the situation was all too familiar to Warren.
“I think the experience of playing many important games as a basketball and softball player helped me keep focus,” Warren said.
That observation came just after she sliced an opposite field line drive to right in the bottom of the seventh inning that drove in the winning run and enabled the Bears to defeat Hightstown, 3-2.
Warren’s heroics sent East Brunswick (22-6) to the state semifinals at Rowan University June 7, when they met South Jersey, Group IV champion Egg Harbor Township High School (23-0).
The senior also played a major role in helping East Brunswick’s girls basketball team to a 22-4 record and the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) basketball tournament title in the winter.
After holding a 1-0 lead for most of the game against Hightstown, the visiting Rams pushed across two runs in the sixth to take the lead. The Bears failed to score in the bottom of the inning and came to the plate in the seventh with one last chance to tie or win.
Senior Samantha Smalley knotted the score at 2-2 when she drove in a run with a shot to left center field, setting the stage for Warren to finish the job.
Head coach Kevin Brady, never at a loss for words, was speechless following the contest.
“After that hit, everything in my memory was erased,” he said. “But I’ll tell you this. One through nine, I believe we have the best lineup in the state. Other teams may have a stud player or two, but I like our chances when we play together like we did today.”
Brady pointed to how Warren used her talent and experience to come through with the spotlight shining squarely on her shoulders.
“The great thing about Allie was how she made adjustments based on what the pitcher threw in her previous at-bats,” he said.
The South River High School baseball team (19-7-1), fresh off its first Central Jersey, Group I title, sought to keep its dream alive of winning a state championship when it met South Jersey, Group I champion Pennsville High School (21-7) June 7 in the semifinals at Rowan University.
The Rams captured the Central Jersey, Group I title June 3 by cruising past Keyport High School, 5-0. The game featured another dominating performance by senior pitcher Tyler Higgins (8-1), who yielded one hit and registered 12 strikeouts. Khaliyl Everett leads South River with 39 hits, including 13 doubles and a .424 average, while Dalton Dougherty has been a dependable starter with a 5-3 record.
The definition of a student-athlete implies education not only comes from what’s learned in the classroom, but also by playing varsity sports. Monroe Township High School embraces that belief, demonstrated by the number of graduating seniors moving on to college.
Those student-athletes include:
Soccer — Erin Seppi, Boston College; Alejandra Menendez, Rutgers University-Newark; and Justin Armorer, University of Delaware.
Lacrosse — Timothy Bailey and Mike Tepedino, Alveria University; Bobby Kokal, Brevard College; Jared Camens, Delaware Valley University; Joey Massoni, Josephine Pagano and Ryan Gallagher, Kean University; Jenna Morelli, Drew University; Erick Anderson, Eastern University; Peter Jarosiewicz, Lynchburg College; Sean Gillies, Gettysburg College; Cole Marini, Roanoke University; and Tyler Sosnak, Saint Vincent College.
Basketball — Ashyln Petersen, Franklin & Marshall University; and Linda Wallentine, Lesley University.
Field Hockey — Alexis Land, William Paterson University; and Grace Martini, East Stroudsburg University.
Track and field — Quinton Schimmel, Worcester Technical Institute (WPI); Jacob French, York College; Melissa Barnes, Stevens Institute of Technology; Evan Pron, Monmouth University; Fabian Chavarria, Rowan University; and Mateo Martinez, University of Pittsburgh.
Volleyball — Victoria Kauffman, Moravian College; and Kassidy Utheim, WPI.
Softball — Gina Mazurkiewicz, Penn State University-Brandywine; and Angela Mazurkiewicz, Wagner College.
Rowing — Glorianna Perrotte, University of Miami.
Baseball — Anthony Tagliaferro, Drew; Robbie Pete, University of North Carolina; Rico Viani, Wagner; and Kenny Sysyn, Marymount College.
Football — Myles Shipp, Tufts University.
GMC Golf Cup
The third annual GMC Golf Cup was held at the Metuchen Country Club May 31. Sixteen of the top competitors from member schools competed in a Ryder Cup format.
The back nine holes were played as a best ball competition and the front nine featured match play. The Blue team won by a 7.5 to 4.5 margin over the Red team when the results were combined.
Area golfers who participated in the Cup were Monroe’s Rob Cocorikis and East Brunswick’s Jeremy Steenvoorden.