By Warren Rappleyea
The Sayreville War Memorial High School softball team is scheduled to host South Plainfield High School May 4 in a matchup that may decide the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) White Division championship.
The Bombers are 11-2 overall but are tied with South Plainfield as each team has an identical 10-1 mark in divisional play. The two teams met April 19, and the Tigers squeaked out a 2-1 victory in eight innings. South Plainfield’s only defeat came in the White Division in a 1-0 game against Bishop George Ahr High School April 27.
Sayreville was slated to visit Perth Amboy High School May 1 and was home May 3 against John F. Kennedy (JFK) Memorial High School — both division rivals whom the Bombers have defeated once already this spring. The Tigers were to meet JFK Memorial May 1 and visit Colonia High School May 3 in divisional games.
Barring an upset, the game May 4 will decide the division. After giving up a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning, Sayreville pitcher Kelly Duffy kept the Tigers at bay. The senior also pounded out two of the Bombers’ seven hits and drove home Sayreville’s lone run.
Sayreville coach Christa DeLucia will look for more of the same from Kelly, who is 9-2 in the circle with 85 strikeouts in 76 innings. DeLucia, however, noted that her team can’t look past its prior opponents.
With a .574 batting average, Duffy is the Bombers’ top hitter. She leads the team with 17 RBIs and 21 runs scored, and her five home runs are tied for the best on the squad. Duffy blasted a three-run homer and struck out 13 in a 5-4 triumph over Colonia April 26. She also twirled a two-hitter April 24 in a 4-2 success against Bishop Ahr.
Three other players are batting over .400. Junior Emma Herrick is hitting .432 with a pair of homers and 15 RBIs. First baseman Kayla Stvan and shortstop Ryane Brush both have five round-trippers to go with 15 RBIs, and they are hitting .420 and .405, respectively. Brush has also scored 20 times and drawn 12 walks — tops on the team — as opposing hurlers tread carefully. She hit a two-run homer in her team’s 6-1 victory against North Brunswick Township High School April 28.
Sayreville is also receiving solid offensive contributions from sophomores Sam Emolo, Morgan Wehrle and Jalyn Dzamba. Emolo is batting .319 with nine RBIs. Wehrle is at .293 with six runs batted in, and Dzamba has driven in six runs and smacked six doubles while batting .260.
Junior outfielder Ashley Mandala is batting just .209 but makes her hits count, as evidenced by her nine RBIs. Freshman Ashley Cannon is 2-0 when spelling Duffy in the circle. She has contributed two doubles and four RBIs at the plate.