In tight games you need your captains to step up big and that’s just what the Paramus Spartans softball team got when it outlasted Nutley by a score of 6-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Coming off of a dominating one-hit performance in a 1-0 win over Old Tappan, senior pitcher and captain Lauren Feorenzo struggled out of the gate and Nutley would push across three runs in the opening frame to jump out to a 3-1 lead.
The Raiders would load the bases in the second inning and it looked like Feorenzo and the Spartans were on the ropes but some great defense and a timely strikeout helped Paramus dance out of danger.
“That was important to get out of that inning only down a couple runs,” said Feorenzo. “Even with runners on base I knew we could get out of it, I had full confidence in my team behind me to make the plays and I made some good pitches when I really needed them.”
After escaping what looked like a treacherous second inning Paramus would rally with the bats to put up three runs in the third inning. The big hit came off the bat of another senior captain, Alissa Miranda, whose 2-RBI double cut the score to 4-3 Nutley and scored fellow captain Stephanie Huang, who was a catalyst for Paramus all day with 3 steals and 3 runs scored.
“I was just trying to find a pitch to drive, there weren’t many, (Jaimie Towey) was really on today,” said Miranda. “I knew that inning would be important and that I had to keep our rally going because we didn’t know if we would get many more chances after that.”
Paramus would tally another run in the third on a passed ball to knot the score at 4-4, which is where it would stay until the top of the 12th inning thanks to great pitching and timely defensive plays by both sides.
Second baseman Noel Hodgins put together a highlight reel in one game for Paramus, making circus catches and diving stops on the infield to preserve the tie along the way. Of all things it would be a defensive lapse by Nutley that would prove to be the difference.
Paramus would capitalize off of a Raiders throwing error to score the two runs in the top of the 12th and Feorenzo shut the door. It was the first time Paramus had defeated Nutley in nine tries and it preserved a perfect start to the season for the Spartans who are now 8-0.
“It feels really good,” said Miranda. “They’re a really tough team and this gives us the confidence that we can play with anyone. For the seniors we are just glad we finally were able to beat them.”
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