Five local teams win South Jersey softball titles

by Marc Narducci | Jun 7, 2023
Five local teams win South Jersey softball titles
Of the six South Jersey softball champions, five came from the seven-county South Jersey area. The only exception was in Non-Public A, where St. John Vianney was the champ.

The local champions were Clayton ( Group 1), Haddon Heights (Group 2), Shawnee (Group 3), Kingsway (Group 4) and St. Joseph Hammonton (Non-Public B).

The team with the most pressure was Haddon Heights; the Garnets are the defending Tournament of Champions champ. (The NJSIAA has since eliminated the softball TOC). 

Haddon Heights were the No. 1 seed and was tested to the limit before beating Cinnaminson, 1-0.

Sophomore Sophia Bordi pitched a perfect game, her third straight in the state tournament, and struck out 19 batters. That also avenged a 2-1 loss to Cinnaminson on April 27.

Heights pitched perfect games in each of its four South Jersey playoff wins, an unheard of feat. Maddy Clark pitched the first perfect game and Bordi added the final three. 

St. Joseph of Hammonton continued its postseason dominance when it beat Gloucester Catholic, 9-2 to earn its fourth straight South Jersey Non-Public B title. Like Haddon Heights, St. Joseph was a top seed.

Ava Fisher, among the top pitchers in South Jersey, pitched a two-hitter and struck out 14 for the winning Wildcats.

Yet another top seed, Clayton earned a sectional title when the Clippers beat Audubon, 3-2, in the South Jersey Group 1 title game. It was the third straight South Jersey title for Clayton, which is the two-time defending state champ. 

Veteran Allyson Koerner went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and earned the save with two scoreless innings. 

Shawnee, the No. 5 seed, defeated No. 2 Moorestown, 5-0. Ashley Murphy turned out to be the standout. A second baseman, Murphy turned a triple play in the sixth inning. With runners on first and second and nobody out, she caught a line drive, tagged second base, and then threw to first base for the third out.

She also crushed a three-run triple in the seventh inning to give the Renegades a cushion. Senior Alex Pley went the distance to get the win for Shawnee.

The Renegades had to beat the No. 1 seed (Ocean City) and No. 2 seed (Moorestown) to win the title.

Kingsway, the No. 3 seed, beat fourth-seeded Cherokee, 9-3, to win the South Jersey Group 4 title. This was one of the more impressive comebacks as Kingsway trailed 3-0 before scoring nine times in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Freshman Ava Snyder had two hits in the inning, including a two-run home run for Kingsway, which beat No. 2 seeded Lenape, 2-1, in the semifinals.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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