【N.J】 Notre Dame, Steinert among state’s best in CVC Colonial – – – New Jersey News

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The Colonial Division’s powerhouse Steinert and Notre Dame softball teams are more than just the two best in the Colonial Valley Conference. They also project as two of the premier teams in the entire state.

A year ago, Notre Dame won the Colonial Division before Steinert stormed back to drub the Irish in the finals of the  Mercer County Tournament. From there, Steinert advanced to the Group III state championship game for the fourth time in six years while Notre Dame barely lost to Parochial A state champion Donovan Catholic in the state playoffs.

With both teams loaded with returning starters, get ready for the resumption of their tremendous rivalry, which will get underway right away when the two teams collide on the opening day of the season on Monday at Steinert.

As for the rest of the Colonial Division, Hightstown appears to be the best of the rest and destined for a solid season.


Coach: Thomas Meneskie.

Last year: (11-7), No. 24 ranking in the area.

Roster: Angelina Benitez (Jr.); Hayden Bustos (Fr.); Adriana Cepeda (Fr.); Grace Cutler (Jr.); Kayla Horana (Fr.); Sofia Hulme (Fr.); Brooke Leaver (Sr.); Brissia Morales-Pereira (Fr.); Julia Luczak (Jr.); Kady Olson (So., P): Olivia Pignatello (So.); Jordan Rosoluk (Sr.); Amelia Stevens (Sr/.); Zoe Kana (Fr.)

Strengths: Headed on scholarship to play next year at Seton Hall, Benitez is a returning all-conference outfielder who collected 35 hits and batted a very robust .581.  Olsen  handled a big bulk of the pitching as a freshman and struck out 81 batters in 66 innings. Olsen hit .365 and Pignatello hit .419. The Rams have a strong freshman class. Bustos will be the starting catcher and hit fourth. Cepeda and Hulme are two other freshmen who will get a lot of playing time.

Outlook: The Rams will remain very competitive under their new coach and should have another winning season.

Notre Dame starting pitcher Rylee Michalak throws to the plate against St. Thomas Aquinas during a Non-Public A South semifinal softball game on Thursday afternoon. (Kyle Franko/ - Photo)
Notre Dame starting pitcher Rylee Michalak throws to the plate against St. Thomas Aquinas during a Non-Public A South semifinal softball game on Thursday afternoon. (Kyle Franko/ – Photo)


Coach: Chris Jackson.

Last year: (19-5), CVC Colonial Division champion, Mercer County Tournament finalist, South Jersey Parochal A semifinalist, No. 4 ranking in the area.

Roster: Rylee Michalak (Jr., P); Helen Woloshyn (Jr., IF/OF); Bianca Pesce (So., P/1B); Kalyn Rosica (Jr., IF); Cara Mazzucco (Jr.. OF) Gianna DiBari (So., IF); Isabella Antosiewicz (Sr., IF); Gracyn Antosiewicz (Fr., C);
22 10 Riley Cunningham (So., OF); Riley Daly (Fr., C); Jenna Cocuzza (Fr., IF/OF); Kayla Delehanty (So., IF); 10 Madalena Creo (So., OF); Alayna Giampolo (Jr., IF); Emily Brown (Jr., C); Isabella Smith (Jr., P); Emma Marchese (Jr., P/1B); Ella McColgan (Jr., IF/OF).

Strengths: The Irish are not only loaded with talented, but they are still relatively young with a host of junior starters. Michalak, who has received a scholarship to pitch for the University of Houston, is one of the top pitchers in New Jersey. She had 198 strikeouts in 115 innings while pitching to an ERA of 1.52. There are plenty of other quality pitchers on the roster as well. The Irish also have a roster with a lot of speed and productive hitters. McGolgan batted .463 with 26 stolen bases. Creo (.386), Mazzucco (.357), Giampolo (.345), Marchese (.395) and Woloshyn (.323, 13 stolen bases) are all part of a very deep lineup. The team also has some freshmen who can play.

Outlook: With seven returning starters, Notre Dame may very well end up as one of the top five teams in the state. It certainly is a strong contender for CVC, Mercer County Tournament and state championships.


Coach: Marissa Soprano.

Last year: (3-13).

Roster: Ani Betancourt (Fr., OF); Maddie Castillo (Jr., 3B); Natalie Hester (Fr., SS); Sofia DiGioacchino (Fr., IF); Clare Johnson (Sr., C); Delaney Keegan (Jr., OF): Yeahna Lee (Jr., IF); Sienna Lutkowski (Fr., OF); Simryn Patel (Fr., P): Erin Pilicer (Fr., P); Deirdre Ristic (So.,  1B); Anika Simons, (Sr., 2B/OF); Jada Speed (Fr., 1B); Cassie Speir, (So., OF); Jess Zimet (Sr., OF); Ellie van der Schaar (Jr., CF).

Strengths: The Little Tigers have a lot of newcomers who have potential.

Outlook: As these players gain experience the team will become more competitive.


Coach: Jenn Melker.

Last year: (21-5), Mercer County Tournament champion, Central Jersey Group III champions, Group III state finalist, No. 3 ranking in the area.

Roster: Isabella Bonacci (Sr., P); Abigail Mazur (Sr., 2B/OF); Ceara O’Neal (Sr., 3B); Paige Schultz (Sr., 1B/P); Makenna Spak (Sr., OF); Riley Mikolajczak (Jr., IF/P); Gianna DiMeglio (So., OF); Addison Hassan (So/, OF); Katie Simonka (So., P/1B/OF); Mia Pope (Fr., IF); Ellie Miller (Fr., P/IF.OF); Bianca Walsh (Fr., P/IF); Brooke DeWitt (Fr., OF/IF).

Strengths: Where do you start? Bonacci was The -’s CVC Player of the Year after batting .392 with four homers and striking out 139 batters while leading her team to a county title and berth in the state final. O’Neal batted .443 with three homers and Schultz hit .440 with five home runs. The speedy Spak came on to hit .349. DiMeglio hit one of the biggest homers in the history of the program when her two-out blast in the bottom of the seventh won a state semifinal. Steinert has returned nearly all of its starters and has been bolstered by an outstanding freshman class that includes talented newcomers who can pitch and hit. Among that group is a speedy infielder in Pope.

Outlook: Runner-up in Group III last season, the Spartans are contenders to win it all this time around.


Coach: Ryan McAmy.

Last year: (0-16).

Roster: Nevayah Baldwin (So.), Jiasia Robinson (Jr.), Alma Batista (Sr.), Syrai Jenkins (Jr.),  Zyah Seruby (Sr.), Kori Tyson (Sr.), Jubliee Acevedo (Fr.), Frankeila Cruz-Lopez (Jr.),  Annizaly Corporan Hernandez; Syrai Jenkins (Jr.); Arafat Olushi (Sr.); Angelie Pacheco (Fr.);  Ambar Penn-Rivera (Jr.); Zyah Seruby (Sr.); Ziani Turner (Sr.); Korionna Tyson (Sr.).

Strengths: Robinson gives the team experience in the circle and along with other players shows promise.

Outlook: Now the dean of Mercer County coaches in his 16th year, McAmy leads a team that will be improved from last year.


Coach: Mark Lee.

Last year: (8-12).

Roster: Ashika Agazamuthu (Sr., OF); Anushka Arvind (So., P1/OF); Hiir Bhatt (Jr., OF); Olivia Carraba (So., OF); Victoria Casey (So.); Kaila Castiglione (Fr., P/1B/3B); Audrey Chen (So., P/OF); Julia Dorfman (Jr. OF); Olivia Duguay (Jr., OF); Farihah Begum (Fr., OF); Tavisi Ganguly (Sr., OF); Deana Hu (Fr., IF/OF);  Isabella Krausse (Jr., OF/1B); Ruby Madia (Sr., C/3B); Emily Mahatamachai (Fr., IF); Ava Mayer (Jr., 1B); Anya Mudlapur (So., OF); Samantha Pelosi (Jr., OF); Hitansi Sahoo (So., OF); Nayeliz Irenes Santiago Aponte  (1B/3B); Rebecca Slater (Fr., C/3B/1B); Katrina Vacchi (Fr., C/3B/OF).

Strengths: Madia is a capable player who anchors the infield behind the plate. She along with Krausse and Dorfman received all-league recognition last year. The program has been infused with some young talent.

Outlook: Playing for the first time last year under the West Windsor United label, the two schools combined to put together a competitive team. Look for that to continue and the team to possibly go .500 or better.

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