BORDENTOWN – The word champion will be synonymous with the 2022 Bordentown Regional High School softball team.
So will the team’s bond of friendship and teamwork on and off the field.
That was all captured during Bordentown’s run to winning a second sectional title in four years and finishing its 2022 campaign with a record of 24-2.
Bordentown hoisted up its second sectional title in program history on May 27 at Bordentown Regional High School, rolling to a 13-0 victory over Metuchen High School in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group II championship game.
The long season’s journey to becoming champions stamped an “amazing” spring on the diamond in the eyes of Rachel Gagliardo, who is one of the co-head coaches for the Scotties alongside Nicole O’Leary
“This was truly an amazing season,” Gagliardo said. “This year was all about building chemistry together as a team on the field and off the field. All these girls are genuinely good people. Every one of them were there to help and support each other. It was really a joy to coach this special group of girls.”
In the sectional final, the Scotties racked up 19 hits at the plate to knock in their 13 runs. All of that was all plenty enough for junior ace Allison Hoppe, who struck out seven Metuchen batters to record her 13th shutout of the season in the circle.
After Hoppe recorded the final out of the contest, Gagliardo said she remembered feeling nothing but “pure joy” for her players as they celebrated their championship victory on the field with each other.
“I was so proud of them,” Gagliardo said. “Seeing all their hard work pay off was such a proud moment for me. It was something special.”
Gagliardo has been a part of the Bordentown softball program for the last four years, helping the Scotties win their first sectional title back in 2019.
Since 2019, Gagliardo and O’Leary have watched their Scotties tally up a record of 62-11 and make it to the sectional championship game three times.
A part of all that success on the diamond were the senior trio of Sofia Peterson, Angelina Marino and Brianna Fischer.
All three seniors recorded what their coaches have called an “amazing last season on the diamond as a Scottie to graduate as two-time sectional champions.”
Peterson provided the power in the middle of the Bordentown lineup at the cleanup spot, smacking a team-high nine home runs with 33 RBI and had a batting average of .405.
Fischer was Bordentown’s team-leader in the RBI department, knocking in 35 runs over the course of the season, including having three RBI (runs batted in) against Metuchen in the sectional final. Six of Fischer’s 28 hits on the season left the yard for a home run.
Marino racked up a team-high 42 hits from the leadoff spot for the Scotties, topping her team-leading mark last season (35). The senior first baseman had three hits and an RBI for Bordentown in the sectional final.
“It was really exciting to watch them set a legacy for themselves,” Gagliardo said of all three senior players. “They all stepped up in different ways and were the leaders of our team this season. They’re a great bunch of girls. They all work hard and truly love the game.”
Peterson (Providence College), Marino (Moravian College) and Fischer (Adelphi University), will all be playing softball at the collegiate level next year.
Adding to the seniors’ leadership on the field was Hoppe embracing the role in the circle as the team’s ace.
Hoppe was nothing but dominant during her junior campaign, pitching to a 0.62 ERA with 261 total strikeouts and recorded three no-hitters, Gagliardo said, who handles the Bordentown pitching staff.
She said she was very impressed with the growth Hoppe has shown in the circle this season.
“She had such a great season,” Gagliardo said of Hoppe. “She really took full ownership in the circle. Her growth (as a pitcher) has been amazing. She’s such a hard worker.”
Hoppe’s battery mate was sophomore catcher Kaci Benton, who Gaglardo said had a stellar spring at the plate for the Scotties, batting .443 with seven home runs and 25 RBI.
Fellow sophomores Lauren Scharko and Lillian Nucera were also key contributors to the Bordentown lineup.
Nucera batted .325 and had 17 runs scored, while Scharko recorded three of her 18 RBI this season during the sectional final against Metuchen.
Junior second baseman Erin Hoppe dialed up 25 hits, 24 runs scored and 11 RBI during her second full season on varsity for the Scotties.
Bordentown’s season ended in a 3-0 loss to Haddon Heights during the NJSIAA Group II semifinals. Haddon Heights would go on to win the NJSIAA Group II championship and then later win the Tournament of Champions.
It’s been an historic ride for the Scotties over the past four years. They’ve established themselves as a top-tier program in the state and have the talent moving forward to add more championships to their record books.
“I think every year there’s the opportunity (to win a championship),” Gagliardo said. “I would definitely like to see that happen again.”