Morris Catholic Wins Second Consecutive State Title!
Morris Catholic and St. Joe’s Hammonton met for the second year in a row at Ivy Hill Park for the Non-Public B state title. The Crusaders have been another team in the state tournament that has seen a huge turnaround since the COVID pandemic started in 2020. In 2019 Morris Catholic went 9-17 ending their season with a loss in the Non-Public B sectional final to Lodi Immaculate by a score of 9-1. The 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic which brought in a huge class of talented freshmen. Finally in 2021, Morris Catholic was able to showcase their abilities by going 27-3 and winning a Non-Public B state title over St. Joe’s Hammonton, 2-0.
This year, the Crusaders looked to repeat last year’s success. The journey would come along with some adversity along the way. Nonetheless, Morris Catholic persevered and they would reach the state final yet again against St. Joe’s Hammonton. The two teams would continuously match each other’s offensive and defensive efforts. The difference? Morris Catholic executed with timely hitting and great games from Hannah Streicher and Carly Mockenhaupt.
Mockenhaupt went 2-2 at the plate with 2 doubles with an RBI. Hannah Streicher was very solid on the mound with 8 Ks but allowed 9 hits, walked 3, hit 2 and allowed 3 earned runs. Damage was limited with great plays in the field including a run saving play by Kate Heslin who somehow managed to keep her foot on home plate while receiving a throw on a force play. The game ended with a fly ball caught by the first baseman, Hailee Sobienski, with a final score of 4-3. Morris Catholic head coach Nick DeGennaro had nothing but respect and praise for his opponents in the other dugout after the game.
“Les [Olson] does a great job over there. They’re a scrappy team and they fight to the end”. The fight showed from the Wildcats with a 2 out rally in the bottom of the 7th where 2 runs had scored making it a 4-3 game with the bases loaded but the threat was extinguished with a fly ball to first base. “This championship means a lot because it shows that the team can fight through adversity and it shows that we are capable of winning just more than one title in consecutive seasons. A few of our losses this year came when the team wasn’t at full strength except for one loss in which we were at full strength. These girls fought every out of every game”.
Chris Baker from NJ Athletics. You can reach Chris on Twitter (@cbake_51) or you can reach him by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to check out NJ Athletics on Instagram (@NJAthletics) and on Twitter (@nj_athletics)