|VIDEO: Verona hangs tough to beat Hasbrouck Heights in states|
After twice rallying from behind to push the game to extra innings, Verona pulled out its first-round softball state playoff game on a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth. Meghan Yates drove in the winning run to give the Hillbillies a dramatic 5-4 win over Hasbrouck Heights.
Verona trailed 3-0 before rallying to tie the game in the fifth inning. After Hasbrouck Heights regained the lead in the top of the seventh, Kaitlyn Deo delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the frame to knot the score again.
Olivia Feiger and Rebecca Russomano had run-scoring singles as part of the fifth-inning rally for Verona. Amber Reed drew a bases-loaded walk and later doubled to start the comeback rally in the seventh.
Paige Ferrell allowed 11 hits but managed to limit the damage as she earned the win. Ferrell struck out 10 and walked only one for the sixth-seeded Hillbillies.
Stefanie Pagan drove in a pair of runs for Hasbrouck Heights. Diana Torres also had an RBI single. Jess Gasparino went the distance in the circle for the Aviators, striking out four while allowing nine hits.
11th-seeded Hasbrouck Heights falls to 12-10.
Verona is now 15-6. The Hillbillies will take on the winner of Midland Park and Waldwick in the second round of the North 1, Group I sectional tournament next week.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school girls' softball state tournament game, click play in the box at left.