Roselle Park has won four sectional titles since 2002 and seeks to repeat in North 2, Group 1 for the first time since 2003.
Last year Roselle Park was the seventh seed and won at top-seeded Dayton 4-3 in the final to capture its first sectional championship since winning Central Jersey, Group 1 in 2010.
This time Roselle Park will be at home – as the fifth seed – and will be hosting the seventh seed, which happens to be arch rival Brearley.
The 2017 North 2, Group 1 softball final is scheduled to be played Tuesday, May 30 at 4 p.m. at Roselle Park.
Brearley is 13-6 and has won three straight and nine of 10 following a 4-5 start.
Defending champion Roselle Park is 16-9 and has won four straight and five of six to beef up an 11-8 beginning.
When the teams last met in North 2, Group 1 play two years ago, Brearley came out on top by the first round score of 13-3. Both teams are totally different since then.
Roselle Park dominated Brearley this year in Union County Conference-Mountain Division play. The Panthers first beat the Bears 8-0 at home back on April 5 and then on April 22 in Kenilworth, Roselle Park downed Brearley 6-1.
In the game at Roselle Park, sophomore right hander Maddie Hummel tossed a 1-hitter, striking out 10 and walking three. Four Panthers got two hits each off Brearley junior righty Michelle Capizzano.
At Brearley, Hummel tossed a 3-hitter – all singles – and struck out eight and walked one. Capizzano hurled a seven-hitter, striking out six and walking three. For Roselle Park, freshman Emma Cieslinski went 3-for-4, with two runs and one RBI, while senior Samantha Graves was 2-for 3 with one run, one RBI and one of her hits was a double.
Roselle Park repeated as Mountain Division champions, this year with a perfect 10-0 league mark. Brearley finished second at 7-3.
In the section semifinals, Hummel allowed three hits in Roselle Park’s 2-1 win at top-seeded Ridgefield. Hummel and Madison Cieslinski each had two hits with a double and an RBI.
Hummel allowed one earned run and one walk, while striking out four. Ridgefield scored the game’s final run on a home run in the bottom of the seventh before Hummel got the final out to clinch the Roselle Park triumph.
Brearley won at Dayton 1-0 in its semifinal, with Capizzano striking out 13 and walking none for the shutout. Sophomore Nikki Smith drove in the game’s only run with an RBI-single in the top of the seventh. Junior Karyn Shimazu and sophomore Caitlin Ryan banged out two hits apiece for the Bears.
Hummel’s pitching record is 15-7 and Capizzano’s 13-6.
NOTES: Head coach Fran Maggio, at the helm of the Panthers since 1997, has led Roselle Park to four sectional titles in his first 20 seasons at the helm.
Maggio’s 21-season record at the moment is 333-193-1 (.636). He is the program’s winningest coach.
Brearley head coach Amy Efchak guided the Bears to a sectional championship in 2005, with assistant coach Jen Vitale leading the way from the pitcher’s mound her sophomore season.
ROSELLE PARK SECTIONAL TITLES WON
UNDER HEAD COACH FRAN MAGGIO:
2016: North 2, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 4, Dayton 3 – at Dayton
WP: Maddie Hummel
2010: Central Jersey, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 1, Keansburg 0 – at Roselle Park
WP: Taylor Zengewald
2003: North 2, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 1, Cedar Grove 0 (10 inn.) – at Livingston
WP: Becky Riccitelli
2002: North 2, Group 1
Final: Roselle Park 3, Cedar Grove 1 – at Union
WP: Becky Riccitelli
2017 NORTH 2, GROUP 1 SOFTBALL
SEEDS: 1-Ridgefield. 2-Technology. 3-Hoboken. 4-Weehawken.
5-Roselle Park. 6-Dayton. 7-Brearley. 8-Secaucus.
9-Glen Ridge. 10-Bloomfield Tech. 11-Dunellen. 12-Somerset Tech.
13-Arts. 14-Belvidere. 15-North Arlington. 16-University.
Ridgefield 19, University 0
Secaucus 9, Glen Ridge 2
Roselle Park 10, Somerset Tech 0
Weehawken 21, Arts 1
Hoboken 8, Belvidere 3
Dayton 10, Dunellen 0
Brearley 11, Bloomfield Tech 0
North Arlington 6, Technology 3
Ridgefield 11, Secaucus 1
Roselle Park 2, Weehawken 1
Dayton 19, Hoboken 4
Brearley 10, North Arlington 0
Roselle Park 2, Ridgefield 1
Brearley 1, Dayton 0
Tuesday, May 30
7-Brearley at 5-Roselle Park, 4 p.m.