UCT softball finals moved to Linden Friday, May 12; Varsity includes same teams as last year, with 3rd-seeded Johnson taking on top-seeded Governor Livingston

Defending champion Crusaders guided by 2016 championship game winning pitcher, senior Gianna Randazza; Highlanders, led by 2015 championship game winning pitcher Alanna Namit, will be appearing in 8th straight title game

For the second straight year the teams playing for Union County’s softball championship are Johnson of Clark and Governor Livingston of Berkeley Heights.

The 42nd annual softball Union County Tournament will now conclude Friday, May 12 at Linden’s Flanagan Fields. The varsity and junior varsity games will be played at the same time – 6 p.m. – on both fields.

They were originally scheduled to be played Saturday, May 13 at Kean University’s Cougar Field in Union, with the JV game at noon and the varsity contest to follow at 2 p.m.

However, because of Saturday’s rain forecast it was decided Tuesday, May 9 that the games would be moved up a day and played in Linden.

In Sunday’s re-scheduled varsity semifinals at Linden’s Flanagan Fields it was third-seeded Johnson defeating second-seeded Westfield 7-4 and top-seeded GL downing fifth-seeded Cranford 7-1.

The championship game will be a battle of the last two champions. Last year Johnson won the crown for the third time and for the first time since 1981. Two years ago GL won its sixth championship.

GL will be appearing in the final for the eighth straight season. GL won its first five titles in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2011 and 2012. The Highlanders have lost three of the last four championship games.

Johnson snapped Westfield’s 11-game winning streak and begins the week with a 12-7 record.

GL begins the week 16-2 and on a 14-game winning streak.

The pitching matchup for the UCT final should be senior Gianna Randazza for Johnson and Alanna Namit for GL. Randazza was the winning pitcher in last year’s championship game and Namit in the 2015 one.

JR PARACHINI

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