GlouCo Teams Head Up Group 4

by Marc Narducci | May 13, 2015
GlouCo Teams Head Up Group 4 Gloucester County Teams Head Up South Jersey Group 4 Softball Field The NJSIAA softball tournament begins the week of May 18, and one of the more interesting sections in the single-elimination tournament is South Jersey Group 4. And, based on the likely seedings, it could be a tournament that is dominated by Gloucester County schools.

In the unofficial seedings, Gloucester County schools will have the top three seeds, No. 1 Washington Township, No. 2 Kingsway, and No. 3 Clearview.

The top seeded Minutemaids will be the obvious favorites in Group 4, but they have had some close games with potential playoff opponents.

First off, Township began the week 22-1 and the lone loss was to Robbinsville, 11-10 in the Rancocas Valley Tournament. Robbinsville is among the best teams in the state, so if there were ever a good loss, that would be it.

Among the close wins for Washington Township against Group 4 teams were an 11-10 victory over Clearview and a 3-2 win over Rancocas Valley.

Washington Township has one of the state’s top hitters--shortstop Jessica Hughes, a Fordham recruit. She has had some of her best performances in the big games. For instance, during the win over Clearview, Hughes went 3 for 4 with two home runs, three runs scored and five RBIs.

No doubt Clearview will be a major factor in this tournament, and it’s possible, if form holds, that the Pioneers could meet Kingsway for a third time in the semifinals.

The two teams, who are both members of the Tri-County Royal Division, split in the regular season. Clearview won the first game 4-3. Rachel Albertson’s walk-off triple won the game for Clearview and sophomore Nina Rizzo earned the victory.

Kingsway was able to win the rematch, 5-0 as junior Devon Grippe pitched a four-hitter.

While the three Gloucester County teams are considered the teams to beat, there are others in Group 4 who should make some noise.

Rancocas Valley, the team that lost by a run to Washington Township, is projected to be the No. 1 seed. If form holds, Rancocas Valley and Washington Township would meet in the semifinals.

Two Group 4 schools that gave Washington Township competitive recent games are also teams to watch in the tournament. Those would be fellow Olympic Conference American Division teams Shawnee and Eastern. Shawnee recently lost 7-5 to Washington Township, and Eastern suffered a 2-0 loss.

Shawnee is projected to be the No. 9 seed and Eastern, the No. 11 seed.

The fact that neither Shawnee nor Eastern will earn home field advantage in the first round shows how deep and difficult Group 4 is.

There is probably another team that hasn’t been mentioned that is capable of pulling a major upset.

One thing is for sure, whoever wins Group 4 would have defeated a truly talented field.

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Author: Marc Narducci


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