The 2012 New Jersey high school softball season is now in the books, and for three MSG Varsity schools, it's a season they will long remember.
IHA completed a perfect Non-Public A championship season by defeating St. John Vianney 3-0 in the state final game. The Blue Eagles' 32-0 mark is the second best single-season record in Garden State softball history.
St. John Vianney went 33-0 in 2004. IHA claimed the so-called triple crown this year, capturing Big North, Bergen County and state titles. Sophomore sensation Steph Thomas finished 27-0 on the mound and hurled 18 shutouts along the way.
In addition, Notre Dame-bound senior secondbaseman Carly Picinnich will go down as one of the finest in Bergen County history, finishing well over .550 at the plate this season.
Pequannock also just completed a four-year run which will go down as one of the best in recent memory. This senior class captured four Morris County titles, three sectional crowns, two state championships and won 107 games over that span.
The Golden Panthers defeated Robbinsville 3-0 in the Group 2 state final, avenging a loss to the Ravens a year earlier in the championship game. Senior pitcher Dana Nielsen struck out 19 batters for the second time in her career.
The Bucknell -bound Nielsen finished her brilliant season with 222 strikeouts in 138 innings. Senior Ally Thomas belted three doubles and finished the year with nine homers and a .450 batting average.
Whippany Park captured the Group 1 title defeating New Egypt, 1-0. The Wildcats' thrilling victory also avenged a title-game loss to the same team last June.
Senior catcher Brianna Cetrulo acquired her 100th career hit in grand style, belting a game-winning double. The Wildcats' victory was their 13th in a row and gave them an impressive 29-1 mark for the season.
Whippany Park's only loss came against Pequannock in the Morris County semifinals. The championship was the team's first in 13 years and seventh in school history. Keep in mind, pitcher Jenn Sanislo returns so the Wildcats will be favored to contend again in 2013.
Lou Brogno covers New Jersey high school sports for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @MSGV_Lou