|VIDEO: Watchung Hills pulls out semifinal win over Livingston|
Watchung Hills saw its lead evaporate in the bottom of the sixth inning of its softball Group IV state semifinal against Livingston. But the Warriors showed resilience, bouncing back to score the winning run in the top of the seventh to pull out a 2-1 triumph.
Izzy Difinis delivered the game-winning hit with two outs, bringing home Kayla Schinik from third base. Watchung Hills then finished out the victory in the bottom of the seventh, with pitcher Robin McCabe recording her sixth strikeout to end the game.
McCabe pitched a three-hitter for the Warriors, allowing only one unearned run and walking none.
Watchung Hills took the lead in the first inning. Schinik reached on an error and eventually scored on a passed ball. The Warriors had scoring chances in the next couple of innings as well, but Livingston pitcher Sydney McCormack worked out of trouble.
The Lancers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Julia Viggiano reached on an error, and scored on a beautiful squeeze bunt by Ashley Reuter.
Livingston's chances to score more runs in the final two innings were stifled by catcher Genna Cicchetti. The Warriors' backstop threw out runners trying to steal in both the sixth and seventh.
McCormack allowed six hits while striking out four for Livingston. The Lancers, who won the North 1, Group IV title as a seventh seed, finish the season at 17-12.
Watchung Hills, which is ranked in the Top 10 of New Jersey and won the North 2, Group IV sectional title, improves to 27-5. The Warriors meet Egg Harbor for the state title this coming weekend.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school girls' softball state tournament semifinal game, click play in the box at left.