Younger Falcon softball players get their chance

By: Carolyn M. Hartko
   With a loss and a win on a recent road trip, the Monroe Township High School varsity softball team remained on the plus side with a record of 5-4. The Lady Falcons fell to Woodbridge 7-0 in a crossover match, but flattened Greater Middlesex Conference Blue Division rival Mother Seton 11-0 in a five inning game this past Tuesday.
   The latter game gave Falcon head coach Jean Elias a chance to move people around, and give some younger players some varsity experience. For example, junior right fielder Kim Gobac moved to catcher for a few innings.
   "We had a couple of freshmen up with us who got a couple of innings in," Elias said. "Gillian Chen played shortstop, and Cassandra Carr got out into the outfield. And a sophomore, Alexa Cosentino, got some time in the outfield, too. It was a good opportunity to get those guys in, and get some jitters out."
   Four of the Falcons went 3-for-3 in Tuesday’s slugfest. Senior first baseman Vicki Blevins had a single, a double and a triple, and she scored four runs. Danielle Payne registered four RBI, and Danielle Cocuzza had a pair of doubles and four RBI. Gobac added two doubles and two RBI.
   Freshman pitcher Brittany Salvatore gets credit for the victory, raising her record to 3-1. She scattered three hits, struck out five and walked one.
   In spite of the score in last Saturday’s crossover game, Elias felt her team hung with Woodbridge.
   "We played pretty well defensively," the coach said. "But by the time they got through their order the third time, they started hitting Kim (Mackiewicz) a little bit. We just had some trouble hitting their pitcher. I wish our bats would come around against some of the better teams. But defensively, we’re playing well, and the pitching’s right there. So, as far as this point in the season , we’re doing okay. I just hope the bats wake up a little bit."
   The Lady Falcons are still in second place in the Greater Middlesex Conference’s Blue Division, one game behind Middlesex. Monroe hosts the rematch Wednesday, and the outcome of that contest will decide this year’s Blue Division title. That is just one of seven games that the Falcons have scheduled between this week and next. There were four in a row this week, including today’s (Friday’s) game at South Brunswick. Next week, they will be at New Brunswick on Monday, home against Middlesex on Wednesday, and home again on Friday (Cardinal McCarrick). Elias feels that her team is up to the hectic pace.
   "It’s tougher in baseball, because they have all the limits on the pitchers, and rules on pitching," Elias said. "But with softball, it’s really not a problem. The pitcher can throw every day. And actually this year, we have two pitchers so it’s not a problem with them."
   "As far as the other girls go, it really isn’t a problem," the coach continued. "The only thing is, if the temperature were to stay this high, for an extended period of time, it would probably have a little wear and tear on the catcher. That’s another reason we got Jenn (Rubin) out of there a little bit today. It gave her a break."