Marlboro coach, players bidding for success in 2022 softball season

Marlboro High School softball coach Nick Scalzo congratulates junior catcher Skyla Campisi on hitting a home run during a game against Howell on April 8 in Howell. Marlboro defeated Howell 13-1 to improve to 2-1 on the season.

The strong lineup of the 2022 Marlboro High School softball team was on full display against the Mustangs’ Shore Conference A North Division foe Howell High School on April 8 in Howell.

In five innings, the Mustangs racked up 15 hits in a 13-1 victory over the Rebels. The victory put Marlboro in the A North win column for the first time this spring.

Coach Nick Scalzo believes success is on the horizon for the Mustangs (2-1) in 2022.

“What we showed in the last two games gives us a lot of confidence,” Scalzo said after the team’s victory over Howell. “We have a lot of experience. I think we are catching our stride a bit and the players have the confidence they can do it.”

Against Howell, Marlboro scored four runs in the first inning to take control. Junior catcher Skyla Campisi drilled her first home run of the season over the centerfield fence for a 2-0 lead.

“It felt great to start things off and get the energy up,” Campisi said. “It felt good to get my first one and I hope to keep it going for the rest of the season.”

Batting third, Campisi went 2-4 at the plate against Howell.

Amy FitzPatrick singled in two runs to make it 4-0 in the first inning.

In the second inning, Ally Hochstadter drove in her fourth run of the season on a groundout to put the Mustangs up 5-0.

Senior Camryn Coates came to bat with a runner on second and two out. Coates had doubled in the first inning and she did it again in the second when she smacked a double to the gap in left-center to bring home a run that extended the lead to 6-0.

Howell scored in the bottom of the third when sophomore Caitlyn Zito scored on a wild pitch to make the score 6-1.

In the fourth inning, Coates came to bat with a runner on third and two out. The senior delivered her third hit of the game as she singled to left to score a run to give the Mustangs a 7-1 lead.

Coates finished the afternoon 3-4. In consecutive games she had four hits and three RBIs from the cleanup spot.

“It’s a lot of pressure, but when you have to get a job done, you just do it,” Coates said of her three-hit performance against the Rebels. “It felt great to help the team win.”

Hochstadter and sophomore Stephanie Ciravolo each had two hits in the victory over Howell and each player had a team-high five hits through the first three games of the season.

Hochstadter led the Mustangs with 31 hits and 30 runs scored in 2021.

FitzPatrick went 2-3 with a run scored against Howell. Freshman Aimee Notaro and seniors Allyson Levito, Marissa Kramer and Samantha Bajar each contributed a hit for the Mustangs.

Senior starting pitcher Ashley Fhima was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion as she earned her first win. Fhima pitched well and struck out four hitters.

Marlboro broke the game open with six runs in the fifth inning to go up 13-1. That gave Ciravolo a chance to close out the game in the bottom of the fifth with the 10-run rule in play.

Howell got two runners on base with one out, but Ciravolo struck out the next two batters to end the contest and give Marlboro its second straight victory.

The returning one-two punch of Fhima and Ciravolo is a big plus for the Mustangs, Scalzo said.

“They complement each other really well,” the coach said. “They are each other’s biggest fans. They just want to come out and help the team. It’s nice to have them both.”

The Mustangs went 14-9 in 2021 and have many players returning in 2022.

Scalzo said he and his players expect to be one of the top teams in A North and to be in contention for a state sectional tournament title later in the campaign.

“I think we can really make some noise,” he said. “I am very happy with (the win against Howell) and I think we are going to build on it. We are going to be competitive in everything.”

Marlboro is scheduled to play Long Branch on April 12 and Middletown South on April 13.