The first full week of the 2012 season was extremely eventful, mostly because two of New Jersey’s most respected and successful coaches reached historic plateaus.
South Plainfield’s Don Panzarella -- the state’s 4th all-time winningest coach -- reached the 600-win mark as the Tigers defeated North Brunswick 2-0.
That feat was only outdone by the Garden State’s all-time leader, Hunterdon Central head coach Pete Fick, who captured his 700th career victory with a 9-1 win over Montgomery.
***Meanwhile, the season is only one week in the books, and already there’s a buzz in Morris County over the play of Whippany Park. The Wildcats are 5-0 with all five wins coming on the road. Included in that victory total is an impressive two-game sweep in the Morris Hills Tournament.
The Cats defeated the host Scarlet Knights, 7-6, and knocked off a top-10 team in Morris Knolls, 2-1. One of the major factors for Whippany Park’s strong start is the pitching of Jenn Sanislo, who tossed a three-hitter against the Golden Eagles, striking out 12 along the way.
***In other news, dominant pitching was the order of the day in the IHA North-South Invitational as well.
Over a span of four games, three were shutouts, with a total of only eight runs scored. IHA’s Steph Thomas hurled a four-hitter against Middletown South, Edison’s Valerie Cassell tossed a four-hitter against Mt. St. Dominic and Kristin Waters of Indian Hills stifled Raritan by surrendering only three hits.
***Speaking of Indian Hills, the Braves’ 4-0 start has raised eyebrows in Bergen County. Senior first baseman/pitcher Ashley DeYoung is off to a torrid start, smashing three homers in the first four games. The last of the three was a monster solo shot that cleared the fence by 40 feet against Pequannock.
***Looking for a few key games this week? Check out Chatham at Pequannock or Indian Hills at Ramsey, both scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. A key GMC showdown will take place on Thursday, when East Brunswick battles Edison at 10 a.m.
Lou Brogno covers New Jersey sports for MSG Varsity. Follow him on Twitter: @MSGV_Lou