Whippany Park edges Warriors in Group I state softball final

The New Egypt High School softball team came up a run short in its bid for a three-peat in the NJSIAA Group I tournament.

Facing Whippany Park High School for the second time in three years in the Group I state championship game, the Warriors fell short, 1-0, on June 9 at Toms River East High School in Toms River.

Whippany Park struck in the seventh inning on back-to-back doubles for its only run off Warriors’ senior Alison Martino. Whippany Park ended its season at 27-3.

It was a rematch of the Group I championship game two years ago when New Egypt scratched out a 3-0 victory.

Martino, who quickly filled the void left by Emily Bausher, who is at Lehigh University, pitched New Egypt to a 1-0 victory over Gloucester City in the Group I state semifinals and went on to extend her state tournament string of scoreless innings to 34 before Whippany Park struck for its run.

In the Warriors’ victory over Gloucester City, Jamie Soles drove in the game’s only run with a single.

On its way to the Group I final, New Egypt won its third straight Central Jersey Group I state sectional championship, 4-0, over Metuchen as senior Erika Tucker’s line single drove in the final two runs in the fourth inning after senior Sam Beckett and sophomore Jenna Rodriguez knocked in runs in the first inning.

New Egypt, which also won the Burlington County Scholastic League title with a 4- 1 victory over Maple Shade, was declared co-champion of the Ocean County Tournament with Toms River East after their championship game was rained out and could not be rescheduled before the end of the season. Games cannot be played after the state championship games.

New Egypt’s other losses in 2012 came to Gloucester Catholic, 13-1, and to Bordentown, 2-1, before the Warriors’ clicked on a 15-game win streak going into the Group I state championship game.

This marked the second straight year that New Egypt finished its softball season with 27 victories, with Bausher holding a scoreless streak of her own at the end of the 2011 season with 52 straight innings through the championship victory.

— Wayne Witkowski