Gloucester Earns State Title In Strong Season For South Jersey Softball

by Marc Narducci | Jun 12, 2024
Gloucester Earns State Title In Strong Season For South Jersey Softball
Gloucester ended up being the lone NJSIAA state champion from the seven-county South Jersey area, demonstrating how difficult it is to win that final game.

Still, it was a great season for South Jersey softball teams as four from the seven-county area earned berths in state championship games. 

Haddon Township lost, 5-0, to defending state champ Cedar Grove in the Group 1 final. St. Joseph, which was the defending champ, fell to Morris Catholic, 10-0 in the Non-Public B title game. And Vineland lost, 6-4 to Watchung Hills in the Group 4 state championship.

Still, to have four teams in the six state championship games was truly impressive.

Gloucester (21-5) was the Group 2 state champion. 

The Lions’ last three games were nail-biters. They beat two-time defending state champion Haddon Heights, 1-0 to win the South Jersey Group 2 championship.

To win a state title, a team usually needs a strong mound presence and that is what happened with Gloucester. 

Senior Olivia George pitched a four-hitter, struck out four and walked just one batter in the South Jersey final.

The Lions then beat Johnson, 5-3 in the state Group 2 semifinal as George again pitched a complete game, striking out six.

Then came the final, a 3-2 decision over Ramsey as George pitched a four-hitter, striking out four and walking one.

Haddon Township had been cruising in the postseason until facing Cedar Grove, which showed why it has now won two in a row.

Still, it shouldn’t detract from the season that Hawks junior pitcher Jordan Strauss enjoyed. She helped Haddon Township win 12 consecutive games before facing Cedar Grove. 

Strauss had allowed four runs in Haddon Township’s previous five playoff games. 

With Strauss leading the way on a relatively young Haddon Township team, the Hawks should be competing for a South Jersey and state title next season. 

Vineland (26-3) enjoyed an impressive journey to the state final. The Fighting Clan beat rival Egg Harbor Township, 4-3 in the South Jersey Group 4 championship. That avenged an 8-0 loss to EHT in the Cape Atlantic League semifinals. 

After winning the South Jersey title, Vineland had one of its most impressive showings of the season, with a 16-5 state semifinal win over defending Group 4 state champion Marlboro. Megan Harrell-Alvarez led the way with seven RBI.

Vineland couldn’t overcome Watchung Hills’ five run second inning that led the way for its second state title in the past three years.

A year ago St. Joseph Hammoton beat Morris Catholic, 7-1 in the state Non-Public B final. This year Morris Catholic returned the favor with its 10-0 title game win. 

Still, St. Joseph (21-9) won its second straight South Jersey title in another successful season for the Wildcats.

Photo of Haddon Township / Marc Narducci

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