The last time The Hun School Softball team suffered a loss at home was on April 18th exactly one year ago. The Peddie Falcons shut out the Raiders by a score of 7-0 in the NJISAA Prep “A” Semifinals. The “magic of sports” put the same score on the same scoreboard for the 2017 NJISAA Prep “A” Championship, this time it was in the favor of The Hun School.
The Hun School entered the championship game seeded number one and would face the number two seed from Blair Academy. Blair Academy handed the Raiders their first loss of the season before they went on to win twelve consecutive games, one of which was a 3-0 victory over the Buccaneers at home. On this day (simply put), the Raiders were on.
Hun pitcher Alanna Pearson ’18 fielded two ground balls for outs and struck out the third Blair batter to open up the game.
At the bottom of the frame, Julie Fassl ’17 led off with a single for The Hun School. Julia Revock ’18 then moved her over to second allowing Gigi Venizelos ’20 to the plate with one out. Venizelos lined a hard ball to the left fielder giving the Raiders a first and third with Meghan Donohue up. The reliable Donohue drove the ball to center field scoring Fassl from third. Pearson singled to load the bases for Abigail Zucatti ’20. Zucatti fouled her first pitch after she squared to bunt and then teed off a text book slapper into right field scoring Venizelos and Donohue. Still with one out, Mary Catherine Shea ’19 followed Zucatti’s double with a sacrifice bunt that scored Pearson and gave the Raiders a 4-0 lead. Jessie Schable ended the onslaught for Blair Academy by striking out the next Hun batter.
Blair Academy looked as if they would respond with some force despite Keelan Ryan ’18 recording the first out of the inning on a pop out. The play was followed by a single to left field for the Buccaneers. A second runner was added to the mix when a bunt to Meghan Donohue was mismanaged sending her to second and the lead runner to third. Another ball found its way to Donohue for the put out at first and Julia Revock fired home to for what was thought to be out number three. The play at first was appealed and overturned sending The Hun School back to work in the field. Pearson walked the next batter and followed that up with her second strikeout of the game to end the top of the second inning.
The Raiders weren’t finished. Jackie Drozd ’20 battled a lead off walk off of Schable and would steal second base during a Fassl at bat. With two outs, Gigi Venizelos singled Drozd home, Venizelos scored on Meghan Donohue’s second hit of the game, and Donohue scored on a Pearson double to center field. A grounder to the Blair shortstop ended the inning as The Hun School held on firmly to a 7-0 lead.
Both teams settled in for the remainder of the game. Blair Academy was unable to generate any offense as the Raiders limited them to three batters in four of the five remaining innings. It was not until the top of the seventh inning that Blair Academy had a runner in scoring position. Pearson gave up two singles with no outs but again the impressive junior dug deep and struck out the final three batters on twelve pitches. Gloves flew in the air and the Quirk coaching tandem relived the State Championship excitement that has eluded them for the past thirteen seasons.
The 2017 Hun Softball program finished the season with a 14-2 overall record (7-1 MAPL) and remained unbeaten at home. The team also clinched their second consecutive MAPL title.
Departing co-captain, Julie Fassl ’17 finished her career with 92 hits (26 doubles), 76 runs scored, and 49 RBI.
Pitcher, Alanna Pearson ’18 ended her junior campaign with a record of 12-2 striking out 129 in 86 innings; 28 for 51 with a .549 batting average, 12 RBI and 11 runs scored.
The Hun School Stat Leaders:
- Alanna Pearson ’18: 7IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 K; 2 for 3 with 1 double, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI
- Abigail Zucatti ’20: 1 for 3 with 1 double and 2 RBI
- Gigi Venizelos ’20: 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 2 stolen bases, and 1 RBI
- Meghan Donohue ’19: 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI
- M.C. Shea ’19: 2 for 3 with 1 RBI
- Jackie Drozd ’20: 1 for 2 with 1 run scored and 1 stolen base
- Julie Fassl ’17: 1 for 4 with 1 run scored