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NHPLL Girls Win District No. 29 Williamsport Championship

The NHPLL Girls Juniors (13/14 year olds) have won the District 29 Williamsport Championship, a major accomplishment for this group of young ladies.

The NHPLL Girls Juniors All-Stars (14u) beat rival Garden City South by a score of 13-4 to win the coveted 2011 District 29 Championship. Garden City South came out of the loser bracket  to beat NHP 1-0 in game one of the championship series - setting the stage for a dramatic finish on Saturday for their big win. 

First baseman Kristen Hickey (2-3, 3RBI) set the tone early with a mammoth 2 run clutch homerun over the fence in left in the first inning to give NHP an early 2-0 lead. Hickey was mobbed by her teammates as she crossed the plate and the ladies never looked back. Starting pitcher Geena Fornataro (7K’s) took the ball and the fiery right-hander worked out of none out a bases loaded jam in the top of the first with 3 straight strikeouts before sprinting off the diamond to a pumped up dugout which clearly motivated her teammates. Fornataro also made a spectacular all out “Derek Jeter-like” dive attempt into the fence on a foul.

Shortstop Lisa Pellegrino was the offensive star of the day going 3-3 with 3RBI and continues to hit the ball extremely well during the entire tournament with an eye-popping batting average of .662. Mary-Kate O’Boyle was masterful behind the plate calling pitches and equally impressive on the offensive side with a 2-4 performance. Sabrina Spiridigliozzi was 1-3, 2RBI and Danielle Dziomba was 1-1 (BB, HBP) with 3RBI including the game-winning sacrifice fly which gave NHPLL the District Championship.

Winning a District Championship is no small order and it takes a lot of luck and skill to reach such a plateau. Day in and day out, members of the team were able to “pick each other up” whether in a game situation or even during the dog days of practice when fatigue sets in. All-Star second baseman Jillian Sakowich (2 putouts, 2BB, 1R in the championship game) was stellar on defense and was clearly a major topic in the GCS strategic planning room. Sakowich made several key defensive plays during the series. Kim Spagnuolo (who scored 4 runs) had a perfectly executed bunt in the third inning which created mass chaos and allowed NHP to score 2 runs. Equally impressive were Jillian Filippi and Sabrina Santoruvo who fared well on the defensive side and had clutch hits of their own during the entire tournament.

The District Championship is the 3rd of its kind during this Williamsport season as NHPLL can proudly boast of being the only town to win the championship in each and every division represented. Earlier this month, the Girls Minors and Girls Majors each claimed the District 29 Title.

Highlights from other  Girls Juniors Williamsport Tournament Games:

Game 1: NHPLL 6 vs GCS  1

Kristen Hickey allowed 5 hits while striking out 6 before handing the ball to the NHPLL version of Mariano Rivera (Geena Fornataro) who pitched a scoreless seventh for the save. Lisa Pellegrino went 2-4 with an RBI and had 6 assists at shortstop. Mary-Kate O’Boyle was the clutch performer of the game with a blistering double down into the gap for 2RBI. Sabrina Santoruvo  (1-2, RBI), Danielle Dziomba (2-3, 2R), Jillian Filippi (2-3, 2R), and Jillian Sakowich (1-2, 2BB, 1R) all had key at bats which provided insurance runs as NHPLL opened the Williamsport Tournament with a victory.

Game 2: NHPLL 13 vs Malverne  1

Lisa Pellegrino (3-4, 3RBI) and Jillian Sakowich (2-4, 3R, 4SB) set the table for the big guns going a combined 5-8 on the afternoon as NHPLL cruised to a second round victory over Malverne. Kristen Hickey (4-4) laced 3 doubles for 3RBI while Mary-Kate O’Boyle (2-2, 2RBI) and Geena Fornataro (2-3) each had clutch hits. Fornataro was ultra spectacular in the circle with 10K’s while allowing just 2 hits. Kim Spagnuolo chipped in with a run scoring double in the 4th and Sabrina Spiridigliozzi also had an RBI single in the second inning.

Game 3: NHPLL 0 vs GCS  1

In an epic pitchers dual, GCS starter Jenna Turato stymied the NHPLL lineup scattering 5 hits while striking out 7. Kristen Hickey took the loss allowing 5 hits while striking out 6 as the pesky GCS squad was able to push across the lone run of the game in the 4th with superb execution. Lisa Pellegrino was the hitting star for NHP going 2-3 while Jillian Filippi, Kim Spagnuolo, and Genna Fornataro each collected hits. The loss is the first for NHPLL which will square off tomorrow against GCS with the winner being declared District Champions.