Marlboro High School softball players enjoy participating in summer tournament


A spring season on the diamond in 2020 was lost for the Marlboro High School softball team because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The players were hurting as their scholastic season was wiped out, but it didn’t stop the Mustangs from holding out hope they would get a chance to play together one last time.

That opportunity came in July when Marlboro competed in the “Senior Spectacular (Showcase),” a three-day tournament that featured six high school softball programs and gave the student-athletes a chance to play the game they love.

“I wanted to give them a little bit of joy they will never forget,” Marlboro High School Coach Nicholas Scalzo said. “We had a lot of girls on the (high school) team show their dedication to the program by playing in the tournament.”

Marlboro was joined by softball teams from Raritan High School (Hazlet), Clark, Spotswood, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School of Iselin (Woodbridge) and South Plainfield in the tournament that was held from July 13-15. Clark hosted the event and games were played at the Clark Little League complex in Union County.

Because the tournament was not affiliated with the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, the teams were not permitted to use their school names. Marlboro played as the Marlboro Mayhem.

Under guidelines established by the Freehold Regional High School District, Scalzo was not permitted to coach the team. He said he was pleased his players had a chance to participate in the event.

The 2020 season would have been Scalzo’s 12th campaign at the helm of the high school squad. He helped to set up the team’s practices and attended all three tournament games as a spectator.

Coaching Marlboro in the tournament was Lou Riccardi, whose daughter, Isabella, played in the event and will be a senior during the 2020-21 school year.

Riccardi coaches the Marlboro Mayhem 18U travel team, which currently has six players from Marlboro playing. He thanked Scalzo for giving him the chance to coach the team.

“It was all about the girls and helping them get back on the field,” Riccardi said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me to coach them. We were very competitive in all three games. The team had a great experience in the tournament.”

Ally Hochstadter, Ali Levito, Ashley Fhima, Camryn Coates, Marissa Kramer, Madeline DiSefano, Sierra Bonilla and Samantha Bajar were underclassmen who played in the tournament for Marlboro.

The lone senior who was able to play for Marlboro was Alexa Frazetto.

Marlboro would have had four seniors on the squad in the spring. Captain Jayna Kramsky, Alexis Bonilla and Anisha Soto were unable to participate in the tournament.

Kramsky expects to play for New York University in 2021.

Frazetto played in the last two games of the tournament, pitching four innings in one stint and also playing second base.

After losing out on her senior season, Frazetto said it was awesome to have a chance to play with her high school teammates one last time. She said the summer tournament gave her some closure.

Before Marlboro’s second game in the tournament, Frazetto was honored by the team with a special Senior Night. Frazetto and her parents, Jeff and Shari, walked to the pitcher’s circle where she was greeted by Scalzo with flowers.

Getting the chance to honor Frazetto meant a lot to Scalzo, and Frazetto was grateful for the kind gesture by her coaches and teammates.

“It was really nice they did that for me,” Frazetto said. “I was happy to get to play with my teammates again. The games were fun to play. The tournament was well put together.”

Marlboro competed well in its games against Raritan, Clark and J.F.K. Seeing his players get the chance to compete this year was what mattered most to Scalzo.

He said the thanks he got from his players and their parents to get the team into the tournament meant the world to him.

“This was all for the kids,” Scalzo said. “It was the coaches doing it for them. It was all about the kids getting an opportunity to play. It was great to see them get that chance.”