Cotrell fires no-hitter for Allentown

The sky is blue. The grass is green. Water is wet. Other teams are not going to hit Abby Cotrell very hard.

By: Kyle Moylan
   In order to solve a geometric proof or any scientific problem, there has to be some sort of a given.
   For the Allentown High School softball team, the given is Abby Cotrell.
   "Abby is Abby," Allentown Coach Bob DiBernardo said.
   The sky is blue. The grass is green. Water is wet. Other teams are not going to hit Abby Cotrell very hard.
   "She’s doing her job," DiBernardo noted. "She’s fielding her position well. She’s hitting well. She’s doing what she has to do."
   Cotrell tossed a one-hitter in Allentown’s opener back on April 1. Against a less talented Trenton team, however, Cotrell didn’t have to be at her best. When Allentown went up against a tough Princeton team at home this past Friday, Cotrell did.
   Cotrell was.
   Cotrell tossed a no-hitter. She allowed only one walk and struck out 12 batters in seven innings of work, giving her 27 punchouts in just 12 innings of work this year. Even so, the game was scoreless going into the bottom of the seventh.
   Fittingly, Cotrell got Allentown’s game-winning rally going. She singled and then was removed for courtesy runner Kristin Kuzma.
   Everybody on Allentown has a role to play. As a pinch runner, it was Kuzma’s job to intimate and rattle the opposing team with her speed.
   Kuzma stole second. Kuzma then scored from second as Princeton misplayed a strikeout. First the catcher couldn’t handle the third strike cleanly. When the throw to first was also dropped, DiBernardo decided to send Kuzma home. She made it and the game was over.
   "It was worth a try," DiBernardo noted of the game-winning play.
   Allentown, now 2-0 on the season, was scheduled to face West Windsor South this past Tuesday. Allentown will face Ewing on Friday before hosting its own invitational tournament this Saturday. Allentown will face Long Branch at 11 a.m. Hun and Red Bank will also play each other at 11 a.m. The two winners will face off in the championship game at 2 p.m. At the same time, the two losers from the opening games will face off in a consolation contest.
   "I’m looking forward to that," DiBernardo noted of the tournament. "Very much so."
   Mainly because he has the type of team that can be competitive in any game it plays. Allentown proved this through a rigorous preseason. It continued to prove its strength in the opening games of the season.
   "Hopefully all that hard work will help us now," DiBernardo noted. "We’re very versatile. We’re doing well. We play strong defense. The catcher is doing a great job of handling Abby. And Abby is doing her job."
   Abby Cotrell always does her job. That much is a given.
   Almost makes you feel sorry for West Windsor South, Ewing and the other teams on Allentown’s schedule.