|VIDEO: Morristown tops Somerville in pitching duel|
Morristown and Somerville staged a pitchers' duel in the first round of the state softball tournament. In the end, the Colonials came out on top because they made the key defensive plays with the game on the line.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Rhoades fired a three-hit shutout over eight innings to lead the Colonials to a 4-0 win. Rhoades got out of a serious jam in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a fine defensive play by third baseman Shelby Matyus, as the Patriots ended up stranding runners at second and third.
The Colonials, who had several scoring chances throughout the game, finally broke through in the eighth. Joanna Lee and Alex Gleason had hits to begin the rally, but Morristown also benefited from Somerville's fielding troubles in that inning.
Lee went 3-for-3 to lead the Morristown attack. The Colonials, just the #12 seed in the North 2, Group III bracket, advance to meet Warren Hills, the fourth seed, on Thursday.
The game was played at the enormous Diamond Nation field complex in Flemington because Somerville's home field was unplayable due to this week's heavy rain.
For sports video highlights of this state playoff softball game, click play in the box at left.