The 2021-22 HS Sports Season Comes to a Close
After over 1,000 games and months of boots-on-the-ground reporting, the 2021-2022 high school sports season in New Jersey has come to a close for Jersey Sports Zone. This past scholastic year brought remarkable highs and moments that will live on for years to come. We also saw coaches, players and entire school communities battle through hardships and persevere despite tough times. So, in the best way we know how, we close out the year in our style. Check out the Top 10 Boys Plays of the Year and the Top 10 Girls Plays of the Year. Also, JSZ’s Jay Cook reviews the year in an impactful video essay that spans the highlights of this past year. 2021-22 In The Books: A Video Essay by Jay Cook Top 10 Boys Plays of the Year Top 10 Girls Plays of the Year Jersey Sports Zone is proudly sponsored by RWJ Barnabas Health!
Haddon Heights Wins Final TOC Softball Title
Haddon Heights 2 Watchung Hills 0 | Tournament of Champions Final Haddon Heights (25-9) became the first South Jersey team to win a Tournament of Champions Title with a 2-0 win over Watchung Hills (27-2). The Garnets scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the fourth off an RBI from Gracie Granate. Lydia Tralies drove in another run in the fifth to make it a two score lead. The story of the afternoon was freshman pitcher Sophia Bordi who finished with an impressive 13 strike outs, three hits allowed and no earned runs. Heights brings home the program’s only TOC Title in the big game’s final run. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has highlights and postgame reaction from IVY Hill Park: Thank you to RWJ Barnabas Health for sponsoring our state championship softball coverage.
Watch Wednesday 6.8 JSZ TOC Softball Highlights
We’re now down to the final two teams left in New Jersey. Haddon Heights and Watchung Hills will face off in the last Tournament of Champions final in state history at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 10 at Ivy Hill Park. We’ve got highlights from both TOC semifinal games – so take a look and see how the Garnets and Warriors came out on top on Wednesday! Haddon Heights 6 Donovan Catholic 1 The Garnets pulled off the upset of the season, scoring six runs in the fifth inning to take down the two-time defending TOC champion Griffins. Freshman Sophia Bordi was almost unhittable in the circle, as she struck out 14 in a complete game effort. Gracie Granate had a double and 2 RBIs to lead the way on offense for Haddon Heights. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights from Toms River: Watchung Hills 7 Roxbury 3 The Warriors’ magical season continues to roll on. A three-RBI day from Tia Shikar coupled with six strong innings of work from Purdue-commit Jules Raymond was the recipe for success for Watchung Hills (27-1). Roxbury (24-5) tried to piece together a late rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Amanda Medina shut the Gaels down to end the game. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights and reaction from Roxbury: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of both Donovan Catholic and Watchung Hills is made possible by RWJ Barnabas Health!
Watch Saturday 6.4 JSZ Championship Softball Highlights
It was championship Saturday across the Garden State and JSZ brings you two great softball state finals from Ivy Hill Park. Enjoy the highlights! Roxbury 6 Steinert 4 | Group 3 State Final The Gaels jumped out to an early five-run lead and hung on late to end a 30-year wait for a state championship. Jayden Pennella, Maddy Svenningsen, and Hailey Errichiello each finished with two RBIs in the win for Roxbury (24-4). Errichiello also racked up 15 strikeouts and picked up a complete game win in the circle. Katie Simonka drove in two runs in the loss for Steinert (21-5). JSZ’s James Mooney has the highlights and reaction: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Steinert is brought to you by Princeton Orthopaedic Associates. Watchung Hills 2 Egg Harbor Twp. 1 (9 innings) | Group 4 State Final Ella Stevinson crushed a walk-off homer over the tall fence in left field at Seton Hall University to give the Warriors a state championship. Egg Harbor took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 6th on a Sofia Spotacco RBI double. Watchung Hills answered in the bottom of the frame with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. Juliana Raymond had 12 strikeouts for Watchung Hills to set the stage for Stevinson’s heroics. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis has the highlights and post-game interviews from Ivy Hill Park: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Watchung Hills is brought to you by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital JSZ’s state championship softball coverage is made possible by RWJ Barnabas Health.
Watch Friday 6.4 JSZ Championship Softball Highlights
The last leg of the 2022 softball season officially begins on Friday. JSZ has coverage of both Non-Public state championship games from Ivy Hill Park at Seton Hall University. Check out the highlights as they roll in! Donovan Catholic 2 Mount St. Dominic 0 | Non-Public A Final Julia Apostolakos picked a pretty good time to have one of the best games of her entire life. Apostolakos struck out 16 batters, allowed only two hits, and walked none in a remarkable pitching performance. Oh, and let’s not forget her mammoth go-ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Griffins the lead for good. Donovan Catholic (30-0) captures its third straight state championship after battling against Grace Perez and Mount St. Dominic (26-5). JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights and reaction: Morris Catholic 4 St. Joseph Academy 3 | Non-Public B Final Morris Catholic defeated St. Joseph (Hammonton) 4-3 to capture their second consecutive Non-Public B Title. The Crusaders led 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs when St. Joe’s began to rally, the Wildcats put two runs on the board, but would fall short despite having the tying run at third and the go-ahead at first. Morris Catholic junior Hannah Streicher finished with three earned runs and eight strike outs. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has the highlights and postgame reaction: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of the NJSIAA State Playoffs is entirely made possible by RWJ Barnabas Health!
Donovan Dominance: Griffins win Shore Conference championship to make it 29 straight wins
Julia Apostolakos put on a show on the mound and at the plate in Red Bank for the Griffins Shore Conference title! Donovan Catholic 9 Freehold Township 1 | Shore Conference Tournament Final Julia Apostolakos threw a 1-hitter with 14 strikeouts and went 3-3 at the plate with a homer and 4 RBI’s to give Donovan Catholic a 29th straight win on the eve of the Non-Public state championship. Julia’s sister Madison hit her first career homerun in the victory. The Griffins will face Mt. St. Dominic on Friday night at Seton Hall University. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis has the highlights from Red Bank: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Donovan Catholic is brought to you by Community Medical Center in Toms River
Watch Tuesday 5.31 JSZ Championship Softball Highlights
JSZ has highlights from three Non-Public sectional softball finals! Mount St. Dominic 3 IHA 2 | Non-Public A North Final Last season, the Blue Eagles pulled away late to take down the Lions. That wasn’t the case this year. Sydney Rosencranz delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning for Mount St. Dominic (26-4-1) and they never looked back from there. Sophia Kiseloski went the distance with a complete game and punched out eight batters. Jocelyn Moody opened the scoring with a monster solo home run but IHA (27-2) had trouble generating offense outside of the big fly. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights and reaction: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of IHA and Mount St. Dominic is brought to you by RWJ Barnabas Health. St. Joseph Academy 3 Gloucester Catholic 2 | Non-Public B South Final The Wildcats fell behind 2-0, but clawed their way back to win their third consecutive sectional crown. Ava Fisher struck out 9 in the circle and also added an RBI double for top-seeded St. Joe (19-9). Xelynn Rodriguez and Abby Willis also drove in runs in the victory. Cambrie Todd had a double and scored both runs for the third-seeded Rams (18-9) in the loss. The Wildcats advance to face Non-Public B North champion Morris Catholic for the state title on Friday at Seton Hall University. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights and reaction from Hammonton: JSZ’s playoff softball coverage is made possible by OceanFirst Bank. Donovan Catholic 4 St. Thomas Aquinas 1 | Non-Public A South Final Donovan Catholic claimed its third straight Non-Public A South title with a close 4-1 win over St. Thomas Aquinas. After scoring on three errors in the third, Donovan Catholic led 3-1 heading into the sixth. A solo home run from Emily Kurth added a much needed late score for the Griffins, but the story of the afternoon was the pitching from both teams. Both Julia Apostolakos and Hayley Wieczerzak each finished with an impressive 14 strikeouts. Wieczerzak allowed just one hit, while Apostolakos allowed three. Donovan Catholic advances to take on Mount St. Dominic in the next round. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has the highlights: Thank you to Community Medical Center (Toms River) for sponsoring our Donovan Catholic coverage.
EHT Wins SJ Group 4 Championship
Egg Harbor Twp. 7 Kingsway 3 | Group 4 South Final In a game that started on Friday and finished on Saturday, the Eagles knocked off the defending champion Dragons to win their first sectional crown since 2017. Madison Dollard earned the win in the circle and hit a two-run homer in the victory for EHT (24-1). Hannah Weismer hit a three-run homer for Kingsway (22-5) in the loss. EHT advances to face Group 4 Central champion Freehold Township in the state semifinals. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights and reaction: JSZ’s softball coverage is brought to you by OceanFirst Bank.
Watch Friday 5.27 JSZ Softball Championship Highlights
More sectional champions are crowned as the softball season quickly progresses on. Catch up with all the action as the highlights roll in! Steinert 7 Middletown North 3 | Central Group 3 Sectional Final Steinert defeated Middletown North 7-3 for a come from behind victory for the Central Jersey Group 3 Championship. The Spartans led by two until the top of the sixth when a three run home run from Grace Gomez face North a 3-2 lead. However, Steinert would jump back in front 4-3 following a two RBI base hit from Paige Schultz, they would add three more runs to go ahead 7-3 entering the seventh. After missing the first inning Isabella Bonacci finished they day with four hits allowed, three earned runs and 10 strikeouts. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has the highlights: Thank you to Princeton Orthopaedic Associates for sponsoring our Steinert coverage. Thank you to Monmouth Medical Center for sponsoring our Middletown North coverage. Livingston 3 Bergen Tech 1 | North 1 Group 4 Sectional Final The Lancers have officially locked up consecutive sectional championships. Livingston (19-7) is as battle-tested of a team there is in New Jersey and they used that big game experience to knock off top-seeded Bergen Tech (26-2-1) for the title. Caitlyn Mullen tossed a complete game two-hitter with nine strikeouts and only one earned run to lead the way to victory. Livingston scored runs on two safety squeezes and a steal. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights from Hackensack: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Livingston is brought to you by Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
Watch Thursday 5.26 JSZ Championship Softball Highlights
Sectional titles were on the line all over the Garden State and JSZ brings you highlights from three great championship games! Nutley 10 West Morris 5 | North 2 Group 3 Final After some close calls over the past three seasons, the Raiders are finally sectional champions. Nutley (21-5) exploded for six runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run double from Nikki Cicchetti. West Morris (20-5) made things interesting in the fifth inning after a three-run bomb from Mava Collegian, but they had trouble generating offense after that. Nutley ace Fallyn Stoeckel pitched a complete game with 2 ER and 5 K’s to lock up the first sectional title for the Raiders since 2015. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights from Nutley: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Nutley is brought to you by Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville. Watchung Hills 2 Hunterdon Central 1 | North 2 Group 4 Final Watchung Hills claimed their first Sectional Title since 2016 with a 2-1 win over Hunterdon Central. The Warriors scored in the first inning on an RBI from Samantha Raymond and in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Emma Aridi, but the story of the afternoon was junior pitcher Juliana Raymond who finished with just two hits allowed, no earned runs and 12 strikeouts. JSZ’s Nery Rodriguez has the highlights: Thank you to RWJ Barnabas Health for sponsoring both our Watchung Hills and Hunterdon Central coverage. Haddon Heights 8 Cedar Creek 0 | South Group 2 Final The Garnets shut down the defending SJ Group 2 champions and bring home a sectional title over their own after an unforgettable performance from Sophia Bordi. The freshman racked up 15 strikeouts in a complete game shutout, and added three home runs and four RBIs from the plate. Lehigh commit Maddy Clark hit a two-run home run in the win for Haddon Heights (20-4). The Garnets will face either Bordentown or Metuchen in a Group 2 state semifinal next week. JSZ’s James Mooney has the highlights and reaction from Egg Harbor City: JSZ’s playoff softball coverage is brought to you in part by OceanFirst Bank.
Cedar Creek Advances to SJG2 Final
Cedar Creek 9 Sterling 1 | Group 2 South Semifinal Chasedy Johnson hit a grand slam and finished with five RBIs to lead the Pirates to the South Jersey Group 2 final. Liz Martin dazzled in the circle, striking out 12 in a complete game effort for top-seeded Creek (24-5). Kayla D’Angelo had an RBI double for the fourth-seeded Knights (14-7) in the loss. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights from Egg Harbor City: JSZ’s playoff softball coverage is brought to you by OceanFirst Bank.
Final JSZ Game Ball Roundup!
With the regular season coming to a close in the softball world – and baseball soon to follow – Jersey Sports Zone is concluding its last round of RWJ Barnabas Health Game Balls for the 2021-2022 year. Take a look at who had standout games from both North and Central Jersey! Maddie Weir, Lodi Immaculate (North Jersey Softball) Lodi Immaculate’s big hitter Maddie Weir has now won JSZ Game Balls in back to back seasons. This year’s award comes after a monster game on May 10 against Paterson Charter. She went 3-4 with 3 HR and 6 RBI. Weir brought in 45 percent (2,268 votes) to bring home the award. JSZ’s Jay Cook presented Weir with her game ball after practice earlier this week: Aiden Cody, St. John Vianney (Central Jersey Baseball) Aiden Cody has been the Lancers’ staff ace all season long and delivered one of this top performances of the season last week. Cody tossed a complete game one-hitter with 14 K’s to lead St. John Vianney to a 1-0 victory over Manasquan on May 10. He commanded just shy of 40 percent of the vote to bring home the weekly honor. Ryan Rogers, Saint Rose (Central Jersey Baseball) The Saint Rose senior pitcher had a stellar complete-game shutout with 13 strikeouts against Ocean Township to win our JSZ Week 5 Central Jersey Game Ball. We stopped by Saint Rose to give Ryan his Game Ball: Dimitra & Zoe Milonopoulos, Old Bridge (Central Jersey Softball) A little bit of twin magic was at work when the Milonopoulos sisters took the field against East Brunswick on May 11. Dimitra and Zoe combined to go 5-8 at the dish and also collectively knocked in five runs in a 6-0 win. The duo edged out a fellow GMC nominee to win the awards 3,043 total votes. Jersey Sports Zone’s Game Balls are brought to you by RWJ Barnabas Health
The “Boss'” Big Day Powers NBC To State Playoff Win
The Hounds are heating up at just the right time. Led by a productive day from Gwen Quackenboss, sixth-seeded Northern Burlington (15-8) punched their ticket to the next round of the Central Jersey Group 4 sectional playoffs with a 6-3 win over three-seed Old Bridge (14-8) in Middlesex County on Thursday. Quackenboss was a force at the plate. She was 3-3 with 3 RBI and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Her mammoth two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning was the finishing touch on a big win for NBC. The Hounds will face the winner of 10-Marlboro vs. 2-Jackson Memorial in the sectional semifinals next week. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights from Old Bridge: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Old Bridge is brought to you by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
EHT knocks off Cedar Creek to win inaugural CAL Tournament championship
Egg Harbor Twp. 6 Cedar Creek 3 | CAL Tournament Final The Eagles take home the inaugural Cape-Atlantic League Tournament championship behind a ten strikeout complete game by Madison Dollard. Natalia Stewart and Ryley Martini each drove in a run as part of a four-run fifth inning for EHT (21-1). MaKenzie Baggstrom and Liz Martin finished with RBIs in the loss for Cedar Creek (22-5). JSZ’s James Mooney has the highlights and reaction from Egg Harbor Township: JSZ’s coverage of the Cape-Atlantic League Tournament is made possible by OceanFirst Bank.
JSZ Hands Out North Jersey Game Balls
A pair of players who had big-time performances were awarded their JSZ North Jersey Game Balls. Check out their presentations below! Rzepinski K’s 14 in Hudson County Showdown Standing at 6’7″, Ryan Rzepinski is an imposing figure on the mound. He brought the heat in an HCIAL showdown against Union City on May 5. Rzepiński struck out 14 batters across six innings of work in a 3-1 win against the Soaring Eagles, in Union City. He was nominated for, and won, the JSZ Week 5 North Jersey Baseball Game Ball after bringing in 640 votes (43 percent) to win the award. JSZ’s Jay Cook presented Rzepinski with the award last week: Goetz Goes Wild in Win over Demarest Abigail Goetz’s bat was on fire in a recent Big North Conference showdown last week. She was 3-4 at the plate and knocked in 6 RBI as the Cardinals took down Demarest, 24-7, on May 5. Goetz won JSZ’s Week 5 North Jersey Softball Game Ball with 363 votes (53 percent). JSZ’s Jay Cook presented Abigail with the award last week:
A Major Milestone for Donovan Catholic’s Schwartz
Debbie Schwartz has turned Donovan Catholic into a New Jersey softball powerhouse program in the last several seasons. The Griffins are the favorite to claim a third consecutive Tournament of Champions title next month. This week, Schwartz became the first woman to reach 700 career wins in NJ softball history. JSZ’s Mike Frankel was on hand for the milestone, and has the story: JSZ’s softball coverage is brought to you in part by OceanFirst Bank.
Vote Now For Final JSZ Spring Game Balls of the Season!
For the last time this season, It’s time to recognize the best baseball and softball performances from around the Garden State. Our JSZ team has combed the box scores to find the best individual efforts in North, Central and South Jersey. Our polls are open now through Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. The winner of each poll will receive a JSZ Game Ball during the season. To nominate a player for a Game Ball please email the JSZ team before Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Mike Frankel: email@example.com (South nominations) Jay Cook: firstname.lastname@example.org (North nominations) Rich Chrampanis: email@example.com (Central nominations) North Jersey Central Jersey South Jersey Jersey Sports Zone’s Game Balls are brought to you by RWJ Barnabas Health
Watch Friday 5.13 JSZ Softball Highlights
JSZ has plenty of action for you to help close out the week, including the Somerset County final, and the CAL Tournament semifinals. Hillsborough 3 Watchung Hills 0 | Somerset County Tournament Final Another stellar pitching performance from Sarah Davenport delivers the Raiders their second county championship in as many years. Davenport threw a complete game three-hitter with 15 strikeouts to lead Hillsborough (11-5) to a gritty win over previously unbeaten Watchung Hills (16-1). Diya Patel went 2-4 with 2 RBI at the dish for Hillsborough in the win. JSZ’s Jay Cook has the highlights and reaction from the Torpey Athletic Complex in Bridgewater: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Hillsborough is brought to you by Princeton Orthopaedic Associates. Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Watchung Hills is brought to you by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerville. Egg Harbor Twp. 10 Buena 3 | Cape-Atlantic League Tournament Semifinal After trailing 1-0 for two innings, the Eagles exploded for a six-run, two-out rally in the third inning to take control. Madison Biddle and Kiki Schlemo each tripled and drove in a pair of runs in the frame. Sofia Spatocco added a late two-run homer to seal the win for top-seeded EHT (19-1) Kendal Bryant homered, while Camryn Johnson drove in a pair of runs for fourth-seeded Buena (16-8) in the loss. The Eagles advance to face Cedar Creek in the CAL Tournament final next week. JSZ’s Mike Frankel has the highlights: Cedar Creek 8 St. Joseph Academy 6 | Cape-Atlantic League Tournament Semifinal The second-seeded Pirates take the rubber match with the Wildcats to punch their ticket to the inaugural CAL Tournament title game. Liz Martin pitched a complete game and added two RBIs in the win for Cedar Creek (21-4). Abby Willis hit a three-run home run in the loss for third-seeded St. Joe (16-8). Cedar Creek will face top-seed EHT in the CAL Tournament final next week. JSZ’s James Mooney has the highlights from Egg Harbor City: JSZ’s softball coverage is made possible by OceanFirst Bank.
Freehold Boro ace captures JSZ Game Ball
It was great to pay a visit to Freehold where we presented a JSZ Game Ball to Giana Abinanti. Watch the ceremony now! Giana Abinanti had a huge week for the Freehold Boro Colonials striking out 13 and 19 batters to earn the JSZ Central Jersey Softball Game Ball for Week 5. We paid a visit to a rainy Freehold to present Giana Abinanti with her Jersey Sports Zone Game Ball Thanks to everyone who voted! We’ve got one more week of nominees this Sunday as we wrap up JSZ’s Game Balls for the spring sports season Jersey Sports Zone’s Game Balls are brought to you by RWJ Barnabas Health
Millville’s Gamber Wins SJ Game Ball!
Ella Gamber won a JSZ Game Ball back in her freshman season, and now the Millville senior has added another one to her collection. Gamber hit a home run and drove in three runs in Millville’s win over OLMA. She received over 2,200 votes to earn the South Jersey Week 5 Game Ball. Gamber is dedicating the Game Ball to her father, who is undergoing a serious medical procedure. Watch the presentation here:
Blaszka’s No-Hitter Gives Toms River South First OCT Softball Title Since 1990
Toms River South edges Southern 1-0 behind a masterful pitching performance from Janelle Blaszka. JSZ has the highlights of the Ocean County softball championship! Toms River South 1 Southern Regional 0 | Ocean County Tournament Final Janelle Blaszka pitched a no-hitter, walking none and striking out nine to lead Toms River South to its first OCT championship in 32 years. Southern Regional had just one runner reach base on an error in the second inning. Blaszka retired the final 18 batters with some help from her defense. Chloe Seluchins RBI double in the fifth inning was the only offense of the entire game. TRS beats the top seed after Southern scored a pair of regular-season wins over the Indians. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis has the highlights and post-game reaction from Toms River: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of the Ocean County Tournament is brought to you by Community Medical Center in Toms River
Aubrey Miller of GCIT Wins JSZ Week 4 South Jersey Game Ball!
Aubrey Miller turned in a tremendous two-way performance in GCIT’s 18-8 win over Triton in six innings on April 29th. The sophomore went 3-4 at the plate with three RBIs and three runs scored. Miller also got it done in the circle, pitching three shutout innings with five strikeouts. She now takes home the JSZ Week 4 South Jersey Game Ball after receiving nearly 1,400 votes!
GCIT knocks off Delsea for its third-straight win
GCIT 7 Delsea 2 JSZ Week 4 Game Ball winner Aubrey Miller tossed a complete game with eight strikeouts to help the Cheetahs pick up their third-straight win. Madison Luedtke and Alexis Monroe each drove in a run to lead the way offensively for GCIT (14-7). Alyssa Dare drove in a run and scored in the loss for Delsea (14-4). JSZ’s James Mooney has the highlights from this Tri-County Conference Clash: JSZ’s softball coverage is made possible by OceanFirst Bank.
Middletown South wins 13th straight, reaches Monmouth County Finals
The Eagles bust out the bats in the late innings to stay unbeaten. Watch all the highlights of Middletown South and Red Bank Catholic! Middletown South 10 RBC 0 (6 Innings) | Monmouth County Semifinal Julianna DeMauro went 3-4 with 3 runs and 3 RBI’s to spark an Eagles offensive outburst in the late innings and Hope Mullane walked it off with a 2-run double and pitched six shutout innings to give the Eagles a 13th straight win and a spot in the Monmouth County Tournament championship against Freehold Township this Saturday. JSZ’s Rich Chrampanis has the highlights from Middletown: Jersey Sports Zone’s coverage of Middletown South and RBC is brought to you by Monmouth Medical Center