Back home following her freshman year at Ithaca College, Brooke Powers returned to the Pope John softball field to pitch batting practice.
Lions coach Frank Canning was thrilled about the appearance by his former ace, who was on hand to get her former teammates ready for their Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament final against North Hunterdon.
"Having Brooke pitch to the girls helped a lot," Canning said of Powers, an Empire 8 All-Conference First Team selection as a designated player. "They needed to see good pitching before the game."
A day later, May 18, Pope John was making good choices and solid contact in the H/W/S. Still, Mason Spichinger, aided by strong defense, took a perfect game into the seventh inning.
Four consecutive hits in the top of the seventh, including Christina Marinaro's two-run bases-loaded single up the middle, provided the Lions with a 2-0 victory over North Hunterdon at Diamond Nation in Flemington.
"We were hitting the ball pretty well," Canning said. "I never thought we wouldn't win it. I figured, sooner or later, it'd fall in for us. It was just a matter of time. We were playing great defense and Mary (Adams), our pitcher, hung in there.
"The girls deserved it. They played hard and didn't give up."
Several times, the Lions (20-9) were robbed of extra base hits. Julia Arthur, North Hunterdon's left fielder, had an excellent defensive game, depriving player after player of an extra base hit.
Arthur made a running catch to steal a hit from the Lions' Kaylee Powers in the first inning. In the third inning, Kaitlyn Morrison had a fly ball caught deep in left field. Julia Engdahl had a hit taken away when Arthur raced in and snared the ball which was slicing away.
"We were hitting the ball pretty well," Canning said. "The North Hunterdon left fielder just made catch after catch."
Spichiger, who had only four strikeouts, got the first out of the seventh inning before Alyssa Bolger bunted safely. Kaylee Powers had an infield single. Toni Santonastasso's base hit loaded the bases. Marinaro, the No. 5 hitter, then delivered, plating two runners.
"The girls were into the game. They were determined and focused," Canning said. "I told them to be to the field at 6:15 p.m. and they were there way before. They were into it and ready. We stayed up for the whole game and didn't waver. Their heads weren't down."
Jefferson 2, Hanover Park 0
Jefferson scored twice in the top of the seventh inning and recorded a victory over Hanover Park on Thursday, May 16.
Anna Carlson had two hits, including a double, for the Falcons (20-6). Melissa Jurkiewicz went the distance, striking out eight and walking one.
Sam Snyder struck out seven and walked three for the Hornets.
Parsippany 4, Hackettstown 3
Taylor Scott drove in the decisive run with a single in the bottom of the seventh inning, snapping a 3-3 deadlock and lifting the Red Hawks on Thursday, May 16.
Parsippany (9-12) tied the score in the sixth. Amanda Angulo tied the score with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Winning pitcher Victoria Rossi struck out one and scattered seven hits.
Butler 4, Kinnelon 2
Kayla Logan scattered seven hits, struck out 10 and walked three when Butler recorded a victory over Kinnelon on Wednesday, May 15.
Alex Spellman (2 for 4, RBI) an Larissa Spellman (2 for 4, RBI) were the only Bulldogs to have multiple hits. Allison DePuyt and Taylor Russnak knocked in Butler's other runs. The Bulldogs are 17-5.
Katie Veltri had two hits for the Colts, who scored in the first and third innings.
Pope John 12, Vernon 2
Hitting standouts were abundant when Pope John defeated Vernon on Tuesday, May 14.
Julia Engdahl went 4 for 5 with an RBI for the Lions. Christina Marinaro and Julia Depuyt had three hits apiece. Depuyt drove in three runs. Among her hits was a double.
Pope John pitcher Adrianna Barone had three strikeouts, walked none and gave up five hits. The Lions are 18-8.
Morristown 2, Randolph 0
Sophomore righty Nicole Rhoades' four-hitter highlighted the Colonials' win over the Rams on Tuesday, May 14.
Rhoades struck out six and walked two.
The Colonials' top hitters were Victoria Kapp (two hits, run scored) and Lauren Champi (two hits, RBI). Alex Gleason drove in a run for Morristown (11-8). Kelly O'Neill singled and doubled for Randolph (13-9).
Pequannock 18, Butler 1
Nicole Hernandez and Eleni Lutas had three hits and two RBIs each to buoy the Golden Panthers on Tuesday, May 14.
Hernandez doubled for Pequannock (17-4). Lutas scored twice. Jen Daniels contributed three hits for the winners.
Additional players with two RBIs were Christina Brizek, Bridget Carr, and Stephanie Pomante. Aleks Apkarian, Brianne Lipinski and Wendy Maurer had hits for Butler (16-5).
West Morris 8, Parsippany Hills 0
Becca Raymond and Allie McCourt attained the 100th hits of their careers when West Morris shut out Parsippany Hills on Monday, May 13.
Raymond, who had two hits and knocked in two runs, now has 101 hits for her career. McCourt rapped out three hits, including a triple, to send her total to 101.
Pitcher Jamie Fesinstine notched her 350th career strikeout, finishing with 10. Courtney Chase went 2 for 4 with an RBI and run scored for the Wolfpack.
Mackenzie Brown and Kylie Taylor had a hit apiece for the Vikings.
Pope John 7, Sparta 2
The Lions, behind the hitting of Toni Santonastasso and Kaitlyn Morrison, landed a berth in the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex final with a win over Sparta on Monday, May 13.
Santonastasso had two doubles, a home run and drove in three runs in this semifinal. Morrison doubled and had three RBIs for Pope John (17-8).
Julia Engdahl went 4 for 4 for the winners. Mary Adams went the distance in the circle, allowing seven hits while striking out four and walking none.
Jefferson 9, Wallkill Valley 0
Melissa Jurkiewicz fired a one-hitter, striking out 14, to boost the Falcons on Monday, May 13.
Jurkiewicz, a junior right-hander, walked only two as Jefferson moved its record to 18-6. Adreanna Nordland was the only player to break through against the Falcons' ace.
Lauren Gutowski had three hits, including a triple, and knocked in three runs for the winners. Katie Lisa had two hits.
Butler 5, Morris Catholic 1
Larissa Spellman's one-hitter and the batting of Brianne Lipinski (3 for 4, double) and Aleks Apkarian (2 for 3, triple, two RBIs) powered the Bulldogs on Monday, May 13.
Spellman, who had eight strikeouts and four walks over six innings, contributed to the offense, picking up two RBIs for Butler (16-4).
The Bulldogs led 3-0 in the first inning. The Crusaders dropped to 6-10.
Morristown-Beard 10, Morris Tech 0
Hannah Guenther rapped out two hits, one of them a double, and knocked in three runs to pace the Crimson on Monday, May 13.
Additional offensive standouts for Morristown-Beard (5-15) were Vincina Bivona, Lauren Conway, Gina Finelli and Lindsay Reeth. Bivona, Conway and Finelli had two hits apiece while Reeth had three. Dana Riback drove in two runs.
The 14-hit attack was in support of Lauren Conway. Conway struck out eight and yielded four hits.
St. John Vianney 2, Morris Knolls 0
Jackie Gallagher's sacrifice fly and an error accounted for St. John Vianney's run in the sixth inning when it defeated Morris Knolls on Monday, May 13.
Marlena Bevilacqua had a bunt single with one out in the sixth and stole second. Amanda Durham then walked. A double steal moved the runners to second and third. Bevilacqua scored on Gallagher's sacrifice fly and Durham scored on the miscue.
Katie Beriont (16-1) was the winning pitcher, striking out six, walking none and giving up four hits. Kim Felix (10-1) absorbed the loss. She struck out four, walked one and surrendered four hits. Mia Baldassari went 3 for 3 with a double for the Golden Eagles.
Boonton 5, Sussex Tech 0
Senior righty Kylie Morgan hurled a three-hitter and recorded eight strikeouts to lift the Bombers on Monday, May 13.
Morgan helped herself by going 3 for 3, including a home run. She drove in three runs for Boonton (11-9).
Anna Lee Smith had a hit and a stolen base.
Roxbury 8, Randolph 2
Ally Synder homered twice and singled to propel the Gaels past the Rams on Monday, May 13. Snyder finished with four RBIs.
Erica Figurelli came up with a pair of hits and drove in a run for Roxbury (12-8).
Sammie Darling surrendered six hits and went the distance for the Gaels. She struck out four. Lauren Mastropierro had two hits for Randolph (13-8).
Hanover Park 6, Villa Walsh 0
Hanover Park had a shutout victory over the Vikings paced by Sam Snyder's three-hitter on Monday, May 13.
Snyder ended with eight strikeouts.
Alex Cosenzo had two hits and knocked in a run for the Hornets, now 15-5.
Katie Veltri's RBI single capped a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, boosting Kinnelon over Wallkill Valley, 9-8, on Friday, May 10.
Megan Beiermeister had two hits and knocked in two runs for the Colts (4-15). Ana Maroldi, Marissa Jacobia and Brittany Graper also had two hits and an RBI apiece.
Beiermeister also picked up the pitching win, going one-plus innings in relief of Grace Carvalho.
Morristown 2, West Orange 1
The Colonials scored two runs in the fifth inning on Joanna Lee's triple to deep center field to pull ahead after facing a 1-0 deficit on Friday, May 10.
Lauren Champi led off Morristown's fourth inning with a single. Alexa Grniet bunt single followed. That set the stage for Lee, a senior.
Nicole Rhoades had eight strikeouts, walked one and gave up six hits. Morristown is 10-8.
Chatham 9, Boonton 4
The Cougars scored six of their runs over the last two innings to gain a come-from-behind win over the Bombers on Friday, May 10.
Candace DeVito and Charlotte Zukauckas had two hits and two RBIs apiece for Chatham (12-9).
Kim Cacciabeve and and Mariel Dearie had RBIs for Boonton.
Morris Knolls 4, Hanover Park 3
Morris Knolls did all of its scoring in the fourth inning and secured a win over Hanover Park on Friday, May 10.
Madi Housel singled, Gina Nappi doubled and Kelsey Hanson singled in courtesy runner Cassi Coleman to give the Golden Eagles their first run. Alyssa Stango squeezed home Gina Nappi before Hanson scored on a dropped third strike. Gionna Florey drove in the fourth run with a base hit.
Raquel Mugavero had two hits for the Hornets. Kim Felix was the winning pitcher. Felix fanned six, walked two and was reached for seven hits.
Jefferson 15, Newton 0
The Falcons sent their record to 17-6 on Friday, May 10 behind Claudia Tietz's two hits and six RBIs.
Katie Lisa and Caitlyn Dougherty contributed two hits and two RBIs for Jefferson. Winning pitcher Melissa Jurkiewicz allowed two hits. She struck out 10 and walked one.
For Newton, Caitlin Hall and Kaitlin Olinski had hits.
Morris Tech 6, Warren Tech 3
Sam Schmidt slugged a three-run homer in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 deadlock on Thursday, May 9 and propel Morris Tech to victory over Warren Tech.
Schmidt, a sophomore, also singled and finished with four RBIs.
Freshman pitcher Jillian Marchione scattered six hits and struck out 12 for the Devils.
West Morris 5, Chatham 3
The Wolfpack, behind catcher Kelsey Brown's two hits and three RBIs, defeated Chatham on Thursday, May 9.
Brown homered for West Morris (16-4). Becca Raymond had two hits and Jamie Fesinstine had an RBI.
Raleigh Heap, McCall Moore and Kerry Nelson had RBIs for the Cougars (11-8).
Morris Knolls 1, Montville 0
Gina Nappi's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted Morris Knolls to a 1-0 victory over Montville on Tuesday, May 7.
Kim Felix reached on an error to start the inning and went from first to third on Madi Housels' sac bunt. Nappi then stroked her base hit.
Winning pitcher Ashley Lesch yielded four hits, struck out two and walked one. Jess Shalongo, who also had a four-hitter, absorbed the loss.
West Morris 4, Voorhees 0
Allie McCourt went 2 for 4 with two RBIs to spark West Morris to a win over Voorhees on Tuesday, May 7.
Gina Falzarano doubled and scored on McCourt's RBI triple in the top of the third inning. McCourt scored on a throwing error, giving the Wolfpack (15-4) a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Kat Spilman and Becca Raymond had singles and moved over on a sacrifice bunt before Jamie Fesinstine had a sac fly and Alyssa Perkalis lashed an RBI double. Fesinstine, the winning pitcher, gave up two hits, one walk and had six strikeouts.
Pope John 1, Jefferson 0
Mary Adams' three-hitter helped the Lions gain a shutout win over Jefferson on Tuesday, May 7.
Adams struck out three. Toni Santonastasso drove in the lone run in the bottom of the first inning. Julia Engdahl had a hit and scored a run for Pope John (16-8).
Jefferson's hits came off the bats of Katie Lisa, Claudia Tietz and Bryanna Celentano. The Falcons are 16-6.
Roxbury 10, Chatham 7
The Gaels, powered by the hitting of Allison Synder (home run, three RBIs) and Lexi Rinaldi (two RBIs) beat Chatham on Tuesday, May 7.
Roxbury (10-7) broke a 2-2 deadlock by putting across four runs in the fourth inning. The Gaels, who received three hits apiece from Emily Helmer and Taylor Dash, had another four-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth to seal the victory.
Raleigh Heap (3 for 3, RBI), Kendall Davies (2 for 4, RBI) and Kerry Nelson (2 for 3, RBI) stood out for the Cougars (11-8).
Whippany Park 8, Parsippany Hills 4
Senior right-hander Jenn Sanislo hurled a five-hitter, striking out seven and walking one, when the Wildcats (15-5) defeated Parsippany Hills on Tuesday, May 7.
At the plate, Sanislo was just as impressive, going 4 for 4, including three doubles, and driving in three runs.
Brittany Funicelli finished with two RBIs for Whippany Park.
Sussex Tech 7, Kinnelon 2
Katie Jakubowski pitched and batted Sussex Tech (11-8) past Kinnelon on Tuesday, May 7.
Jakubowski recorded seven strikeouts and issued two walks. She gave up six hits. Jakubowski helped herself, singling, doubling and knocking in a run.
Kim D'Amelio and Jenn Pendergrast had three hits and two RBIs for the winners. For the Colts, Jennifer Ditzig had two hits.
Parsippany 6, Dover 2
Kathryn Ferrarelli snapped a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with a run-producing single for the Red Hawks (8-9).
Parsippany scored three more runs in that inning. Ferrarelli had three hits. Nicole Bernal and Alex Rigoli added two apiece in support of winning pitcher Victoria Rossi.
Rossi struck out five and walked one.
Chatham 4, Randolph 3
Candace DeVito and Kendall Davies paced the attack when Chatham (11-7) edged Randolph on Monday, May 6.
DeVito homered twice for the Cougars. Davies homered, singled and drove in two runs. Charlotte Zukauckas tripled for Chatham.
Randolph (12-7) also exhibited a high-powered offense, getting homers from Amanda Beatrice, Olivia Kiss and Kelly O'Neill.
Montville 4, Kittatinny 3
Sammie Booth's RBI double in the 11th inning snapped a 3-3 deadlock and lifted Montville over Kittatinny on Saturday, May 4.
Booth, a sophomore third baseman, drove in Cayleigh Aslanian. Megan Patierno knocked in a run and Brittany Presto doubled for the Mustangs (14-5).
Kittatinny received three hits, including a double, from Krystal Carides. Ashley Brown's two-base hit produced a run.
Whippany Park 5, Chatham 2
Senior right-hander Jenn Sanislo hurled a five-hitter and struck out five to pace the Wildcats (14-5) on Saturday, May 4.
Ashley Belott had an RBI and scored twice for the winners.
Chatham's Kendall Davies, a senior shortstop, drove in both of her team's runs.
Jefferson 9, Sparta 2
Anna Carlson had three hits and knocked in five runs and Melissa Jurkiewicz pitched a five-hitter to power Jefferson past Sparta on Wednesday, May 1.
Dianna Gatto contributed a hit and two RBIs for the Falcons (15-4). Kayla Weber had one of the game's two extra base hits, a double, and drove in a run.
Sparta's Colleen Burdsall finished with three hits. The Spartans received an RBI from Lauren Colacicco. Gretchen Bowie doubled.
Montville 4, Villa Walsh 1
Rachel Inglesino, Megan Patierno and Emily Mulligan had RBIs when Montville defeated Villa Walsh on Wednesday, May 1.
The Mustangs, who led 1-0 after five innings, tacked on three runs in the sixth. Jade Tungul had two hits for Montville. Winning pitcher Jessica Shalongo struck out seven, walked two and yielded seven hits.
Annie McCluskey and Caitria O'Shaughnessy had two hits each for the Vikings (5-10). McCluskey drove in Villa Walsh's run.
Morris Tech 10, Orange 0
Sam Schmidt no-hitter and nine strikeouts and Rebecca Jansen's three RBIs and two hits helped Morris Tech blank Orange on Wednesday, May 1.
Schmidt helped herself by going 2 for 3, including a double, and knocking in two runs.
Mandy L'Heritier doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs.
Morristown 5, Morris Catholic 1
Katie Colquhoun and rapped out two hits and drove in a run in support of pitchers Nicole Rhoades and Mollie Forman on Wednesday, May 1.
Forman, who relieved Rhoades, doubled and knocked in a run for the Colonials (7-8). Rhoades and Forman combined on a four-hitter.
Morris Catholic's top hitter was Gina Tonini with two hits. The Crusaders are 4-8.
Butler 6, Hawthorne 2
The Bulldogs rode the hitting of freshman Aleks Apkarian (three hits, home run, three RBIs) and pitching of Kayla Logan to a victory on Wednesday, May 1.
Other Butler RBIs were by Alexandra Spellman and Logan.
Logan struck out five and was reached for seven hits over five innings. Larissa Spellman relieved. She struck out five, walked one and allowed gave up only one hit.
New Providence 6, Chatham 0
New Providence's Cassandra Squeri limited the Cougars to four hits in this game on Wednesday, May 1.
Kendall Davies had two of the Cougars' hits and Meg Pinaire and Charlotte Zukauckas had one hit apiece. Zukauckas' hit was a double. Chatham is 10-6.
New Providence's top hitter was Kelsey Quinn, who went 3 for 3 with an RBI.
Boonton 5, Kinnelon 0
Smith gets 100th career hit
Anna Lee Smith had a bunt single in the second inning, giving her 100 hits for her career, when Boonton shut out Kinnelon on Tuesday, April 30.
Smith, a junior third baseman, finished with two hits, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
"It's very fitting," Bombers coach Jim Drury said. "Forty-eight of Anna's 100 hits are bunt singles. To me, that's remarkable. The Kinnelon coach (Danielle Elia) said we can't get her and we know what she's going to do."
Not only does Smith excel at the plate and on the basepaths, she is Boonton's most versatile player. Smith has played third, shortstop, left field and center field this season.
Carly McDaniel had two hits and knocked in a run for Boonton (10-7).
Senior right-handed pitcher Kylie Morgan pitched her second no-hitter this spring, recording 13 strikeouts.
Villa Walsh 5, Parsippany 2
Veronica Manley went 3 for 3 with two RBIs to fuel the Vikings on Tuesday, April 30.
Jessica Walsh went 2 for 2 and knocked in a run for Villa Walsh, which improved its record to 5-9. Juliana Strelec and Caitria O'Shaughnessy had an RBI apiece.
For the Red Hawks, Amanda Angulo and Taylor Scott knocked in runs. Scott had four hits and Nicole Bernal finished with two.
Randolph 10, Mendham 8
Kayla Johnson tripled twice and knocked in five runs to pace the Rams, who rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, on Tuesday, April 30.
Amanda Magadan went 2 for 4 with a triple and RBI for Randolph (10-5). Cynthia Meringer was 3 for 4 with a double and RBI. The winning pitcher was Kelly O'Neill, who struck out three and walked four.
Mendham (5-7) was led by Courtney Gionco and Irene Margiotta, who had two hits each. Margiotta drove in a run as did Nikkey Skuraton.
Whippany Park 14, Morristown-Beard 0
Alexa Cozzarelli, Ashley Belott, Jenn Sanislo and Nicole Romanowsky drove in two runs apiece to support the pitching of junior Brittany Funicelli and propel the Wildcats to a win over the Crimson on Tuesday, April 30.
Cozzarelli, Belott and Romanowsky all slugged triples. Sanislo (double, two RBIs) and Allison Gleichmann (double, two RBIs) chipped in for Whippany Park (12-5).
Funicelli allowed two hits and struck out seven over five innings. For Morristown-Beard, Lauren Conway and Vincina Bivona had doubles. The Crimson are 3-11.
West Morris 4, Morristown 0
Kat Spilman had two RBIs in the first inning to put the Wolfpack up, 2-0, in this game on Tuesday, April 30.
Kelsey Brown went 2 for 2, Courtney Chase had an RBI single in the second inning and Alyssa Perkalis slugged an RBI double in the third inning for West Morris (13-3). Winning pitcher Jamie Fesinstine limited Morristown to two hits, struck out 10 and walked one.
Alexa Grniet and Alli Klinger had the two hits for Morristown. Colonials pitcher Nicole Rhoades gave up eight hits and struck out four.
Morris Tech 16, Somerset Tech 6
Gina Andreotta and Sam Schmidt rapped out three hits each and ended with three RBIs for Morris Tech on Tuesday, April 30.
Rebecca Jansen contributed two hits, one of them a double, and drove in a run for the Devils.
Morris Tech neared the .500 mark, pushing its record to 6-7.
Jefferson 13, Hackettstown 3
Stephanie de Hagara gave up one hits and fanned five in four innings of work for Jefferson on Tuesday, April 30.
Hitting standouts for the Falcons were Katie Lisa (triple, RBI), Dianna Gatto (two doubles, three RBIs) and Anna Carlson (3 for 3, two doubles, three RBIs).
Allison Lay tripled and had two RBIs for Hackettstown.
Roxbury 10, Parsippany Hills 2
Home runs by Holly Arentowicz, Kate Cullen and Ally Snyder powered the Gaels past Parsippany Hills on Tuesday, April 30.
Arentowicz homered, tripled and knocked in four runs. Cullen had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run. Snyder had two hits and two RBIs.
Junior pitcher Samantha Darling gave up three hits. She struck out three and walked two. Parsippany Hills received a two-run double from Kylie Taylor.
Chatham 10, St. Dominic 0
Natalie Schroder struck out seven and was nicked for two hits to highlight the Cougars' win over St. Dominic on Tuesday, April 30.
McCall Moore went 2 for 3, including a triple. Meg Pinaire tripled, doubled and drove in a run for Chatham (10-5).
Candace DeVito had a double, two runs scored and three RBIs for the winners.
Morris Knolls 9, Jefferson 6
Gina Nappi had three RBIs and Mia Baldassari had three hits and drove in a run to pace Morris Knolls to victory over Jefferson on Monday, April 29.
Madi Housel and Kelsey Hanson also knocked in runs for the Golden Eagles (15-3). Winning pitcher Kim Felix went 4 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking four. Ashley Lesch pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up three hits. She struck out two and walked three.
Morris Knolls led 2-0 after three innings before making it 9-0 in the top of the fifth inning.
The Falcons' Katie Lisa tripled and had three RBIs. Anna Carlson went 3 for 4. Jefferson, which committed four errors, is 13-4.
Hanover Park 4, Madison 2
The Hornets received two hits and two RBIs from Danielle Politi when it defeated Madison on Monday, April 29.
Raquel Mogavero also had two hits, including a double, for Hanover Park (11-3). Alyssa Santaniello contributed a double.
Sam Snyder pitched a five-hitter, striking out nine and walking. Jill Caruso homered for Madison (7-7).
Whippany Park 8, Villa Walsh 1
Jenn Sanislo went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Jamie Rehus went 2 for 3 with two RBIs to spark the Wildcats on Monday, April 29.
Other Whippany Park runs were driven in by Sam Mellea, Ashley Bellott and Brittany Funicelli. Sanislo, a senior right-hander, allowed six hits. She struck out six and walked three.
Whippany Park, which will face Jefferson in a Morris County Tournament semifinal on Thursday, May 2, sent its record to 11-5.