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South Hunterdon two wins away; Faith falls in states


South Hunterdon is trying to do it again.

The No. 1 seed Eagles softball team whipped No. 8 Middlesex 10-0 in Monday’s Central Jersey Group 1 quarterfinal. South Hunterdon, the 2019 and defending sectional champions, finally put away the Blue Jays after two weather-related postponements. Kayla Kilmer allowed just three hits and no walks in a five-inning mercy rule shutout. Delaney Baker drove in three Eagles; she joined Tiernan Swayhoover in getting two hits.

The Eagles (21-2, 10-0 Skyland Mountain) looked every bit the part of a favorite in their opening-round 16-0 thrashing of No. 16 Keyport last Friday. Kilmer fired a five-inning no-hitter, fanning 11. She also had four RBIs and four of the Eagles’ 14 hits. Every South Hunterdon starter got a hit or drew a walk.

The Eagles hosted No. 5 Burlington City in Wednesday’s semifinal (late game). The championship is June 12. They cruised to the Skyland Mountain title with a perfect conference record, averaging a 12-run margin of victory in the contests. Baker and Kilmer have combined for nine homers and nearly 90 RBIs at the plate; six different Eagles average better than a hit per game. In the ring, ace Kilmer recorded her 300th career strikeout – remember that she missed last year due to postponements – earlier this spring.

The Faith Christian Lion softball season came to an end in the first round of the Class A state tournament. Faith (8-11) fell to District 11 champion Tri-Valley 13-1 on Monday. It was the third PIAA appearance in the last four seasons for Faith, who had just three players with varsity experience on Opening Day. The Lions reached states by virtue of two double-digit run wins in the District One tournament.

The South Hunterdon baseball team did not fare as well in their sectional matchup with Middlesex last Saturday. Ironically, the Eagles were the No. 8 seed and fell 6-0 to the No. 1 Blue Jays in quarterfinal action. South Hunterdon waxed No. 9 Manville 14-2 in the June 2 first round behind four hits from Jason Sutton. Ethan Sutton reached based three times in the quarterfinals for the Eagles, who finished the year at 11-9.