By NATASHA RAI, freshman
JP Stevens softball fought through rocky roads this spring to maintain a winning attitude in the dugout. Coach Krystle Petty, who graduated from JP in 1999, made a name for herself during her high school years as a skilled All-State pitcher for the county team. As the coach of her old team, she has enjoyed two successful seasons with a new team of talented softball players.
With an 11-11 record, the softball team, led by senior Nicky Cacoilo, worked tirelessly throughout the season. “As part of the team for four years, I’ve learned so much, from how to be a leader to how to be a great teammate,” Nicky said. Whether on the field or up at bat, the Hawks consistently played with a great deal of determination. Junior Rebecca Coleman pitched over 100 innings and struck out over 100 batters. The Hawks were also productive offensively. Sophomore Stephanie Garrison crossed the plate fifteen times. Junior Danielle DeBenedetto drove in a total of twelve runs. Said Garrison, “All the players on this team are valuable. I greatly admire and respect the upperclassmen, all of whom really personify the true meaning of dedication and perseverance. We work hard as a team, regardless of who we are facing.”
Despite a shaky start to the season against East Brunswick, the Hawks exemplified their diligence and perseverance in the following game with a 5-3 win against South Brunswick. The Hawks then followed this win with another: a 5-0 shutout against rival Woodbridge. A 10-0 victory over Spotswood and a 10-1 victory against Piscataway were two more of their most overpowering performances.
As a team, the Hawks put their all into each game, as displayed in their record. There were occasions where JP saw itself on the losing end in the early innings of a game, but the squad’s persistence in crucial moments kept it continuing. The Hawks also earned several great achievements individually: Stephanie Garrison finished with a total of nine stolen bases, freshman Amanda Lombardi recorded three doubles, and Nicky Cacoilo collected three triples this year. The success of the team can be attributed to the collective effort of each player’s valuable contribution. With the support and guidance of Coach Petty, a prosperous future is in store for the softball team. If the group continues to successfully merge values of persistence and unity, victory will never be out of sight.