Stevens girls look to be strong this spring

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

EDISON — After two rainouts, the J.P. Stevens High School girls softball team finally got the 2004 season under way when they traveled to Old Bridge last Tuesday, to top the Knights 4-1.

Shortstop Stephanie Marciano led the Hawks, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and getting the game-winning hit in the top half of the third inning. Marciano, the team’s senior captain, laced a two-out single to score Iris Delgado and Kristina Feltz.

Delgado lead the inning off with a double and moved to third on an infield single by Feltz. Feltz stole second and the Hawks looked to make it a big inning, but the next two Stevens’ batters went down on strikes before Marciano could salvage the leadoff success of Delgado.

"I was annoyed when we had runners at second and third with nobody out and we couldn’t get them home," Stevens head coach Pete Catenacci said. "Stephanie is such a good team leader and she really came through for us."

Junior Becky Garibotto was outstanding on the mound in the season opener. Garibotto allowed one run on just six hits and one walk on her way to the complete game victory. She recorded six strikeouts in the win.

"Becky is not an overpowering pitcher," Catenacci said. "Movement and location are what make her effective. She has a lot of different pitches and what she throws depends on the hitters."

Working with Garibotto and calling the pitches is freshman catcher Caitlyn Seamster. Seamster played a solid defensive game and picked up an RBI in her varsity debut.

"Caitlyn is going to be a force to contend with," Catenacci said. "I expect big things from her here and even beyond her days at Stevens."

Old Bridge scored its lone run in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 2-1 game, but Stevens added insurance runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Marciano hit a one-out double and scored on an error in the sixth, and after Jackie Almasi and Kristin Loux reached base on walks, Feltz drove in Almasi for the 4-1 lead.

The Hawks will continue the season this week, traveling to Perth Amboy for a 3:45 p.m. game today and a 3:45 p.m. meeting with Piscataway on Friday. Piscataway is coming off a surprise win over Edison.

"The team expects to be competitive with anybody on the schedule," Catenacci said. "The GMC Red Division looks pretty weird this year. It is usually us and Edison shooting for the top, but Piscataway just beat them so you have to add Piscataway to the list."

Centerfielder Kendra Goss is expected to lead the offensive attack this year. Hitting at the top of the lineup for the second straight season, Goss is exceptionally speedy and is hard to get out. She will take the field next year for William Patterson College.

A pair of newcomers to the varsity lineup are expected to be major contributors this year. Junior Stefanie Kamin earned the starting position in right field and adds more speed to the lineup and freshman Nicole Clemente will see action in the outfield as well.

"Nicole is a good player with a sweet swing at the plate," Catenacci said. "She will probably find her way into the lineup and I told her to keep herself ready. When a kid like this comes along you have to find a spot for her."

With a nice mix of young and old, the Hawks should be in contention for a GMC title and advancing to the later rounds of the state tournament.