|VIDEO: Demarest claims state title by out-hitting Johnson|
Demarest found its offensive mojo when it was most needed, and it resulted in a softball state title. The Norsewomen, who suffered through a slump late in the regular season, finished the job with a resounding 9-3 win in the Group II state final over A.L. Johnson.
Ellen Hamlin's three-run triple in the third inning busted it open for Demarest as the Norsewomen scored four times in that frame. Hamlin went 3-for-4 for the day with 4 RBI.
Veronica Corcoran had a pair of hits and scored twice for Demarest, the North 1 sectional champion. Claudia Mattes and Hailey Pontillo added RBI singles.
After a four-game losing skid to end the regular season in which they scored just three runs, the Norsewomen put up 41 runs in their six state tournament games.
Pitcher MacKenzie McGrath had a five-hitter for Demarest, keeping Johnson off the scoreboard until the bottom of the seventh. She allowed two earned runs and struck out two batters in the game played at Kean University.
Shannon Brogan and Gianna Randazza had RBI's for Johnson. Victoria Zatko's double was the Crusaders' only extra-base hit.
Johnson, the Central champion, ends the season at 24-9.
Demarest, which was ranked as high as #2 in the state before its late slump, finishes 27-5. It's the first state title for the Norsewomen since 1979.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school girls' softball state championship game, click play in the box at left.