By Jim Hintelmann
HIGHLANDS – It wasn’t the best played softball game between B Central contenders Henry Hudson and Mater Dei Prep, but Mater Dei coach Jeanne Dickinson will still take Monday’s 4-2 win over the Admirals.
“We have two division games left with Ranney and Asbury Park while they have St. Rose and Point Beach. I think we have an advantage there, but you never can tell what may happen,” said Dickinson.
Mater Dei Prep got good games from the top of the order with Tyrah Graves, Emilie Boman and Maggie Klatt combining for five hits and three runs scored.
Trailing 4-2, Henry Hudson, which stranded 10 base-runners, threatened in the seventh inning when Julia DiGiorgio, who had a big day with three hits, led off with a single, but was caught stealing.
Winning pitcher Paige Fernandez retired Linda Gallagher on a grounder but Olivia Iannace singled and went to second on a passed ball.
Losing pitcher Kendall Keelen was safe when Boman fumbled a grounder, but she recovered and tagged out Iannace, who had tried to score on the play.
“We made a lot of base running mistakes today,” said Henry Hudson coach John Corneliusen. “Julia (DiGiorgio) has been a special player for us getting on base, but we are taking it day by day in that situation.”
Graves, just a freshman, got Mater Dei Prep off to a good start with a leadoff home run to right. It was her first of the season.
Boman was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on an error to put Mater Dei Prep up, 2-0.
The Admirals left two runners on base in the first inning, and had another threat in the second when Ali Quast led off with a double, but Fernandez retired the next three batters.
Mater Dei Prep made it 3-0 in the third when Klatt was safe on a two-base outfield error and scored on another error.
Henry Hudson finally scored in the fifth inning when Jessica Straneiro was safe on a fielder’s choice and later scored on an error.
The Admirals cut the lead to 3-2 in the sixth when Keelen singled and scored on an error.
The Seraphs, though, got a big insurance run in seventh when Boman doubled and Klatt followed with an RBI single.
“We made a lot of young mistakes early in the season, but they’re learning. We start two freshmen and we have a lot of talent among the young players,” Dickinson said.
“We have a mixed group of juniors, seniors and sophomores,” said Corneliusen, who coached football at both Mater Dei and Rumson-Fair Haven. “I thought that we would have a good season.”