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South Jersey Girls’ Softball Preview

South Jersey Girls’ Softball Preview
The NJSIAA softball tournament begins on Thursday and there is no shortage of contenders in the six Groups. Here is a brief preview of the six South Jersey sectionals.

SJ Group 1: Maple Shade is the top seed and will be dangerous, but a team to watch is No. 2 Audubon. The Green Wave have lost to one South Jersey Group 1 team (Haddon Heights) and have fared well by leading an otherwise Group 2 conference (Colonial Conference Liberty Division). Shortstop Deanna Pineiro, a La Salle recruit, is one of the better infielders in South Jersey. Haddon Heights, which is the No. 9 seed is dangerous, witnessed by it win over Audubon. Defending sectional champion Gloucester can never be counted out. The Lions are the No. 5 seed.

SJ Group 2: A pair of Burlington County schools are the top two seeds – No. 1 Cinnaminson and No. 2 Delran. This group is as wide open as any in South Jersey. Cinnaminson owns two wins over Delran, 11-1 and 5-4, both in April. Three teams to watch from the Colonial Conference are No. 3 Sterling and No. 5 West Deptford (the defending sectional champion) and No. 6 Haddonfield.

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SJ Group 3: Cumberland is the top seed and the Colts will be dangerous, but they also won’t be the favorite. The team to watch is defending champion Lacey Township, the No. 5 seed. Lacey won’t relinquish its title easily. Another team from the Shore Conference, No. 6 Pinelands is a definite threat. So is Mainland, the No. 2 see which beat Cumberland, 6-5 in April. And speaking of darkhorses, how about Absegami, which last week defeated Mainland, 12-10.

South Jersey Group 4: This is the glamour group. Defending champion Egg Harbor Township is the top seed and the team to beat. No. 2 Kingsway, with fireballing lefthander Grace Fagan, will be a major threat. Millville, a team that lost two one-run games to EHT, can’t be discounted.

South Jersey Non Public A. Donovan Catholic and St. John Vianney are the top two ranked teams and appear to be head and shoulders over everybody else. The highest seeded team from the seven-county South Jersey area is No. 4 Camden Catholic, which has earned a first round bye and hosts No. 5 Red Bank Catholic in the quarterfinals.

South Jersey Non Public B: Doane Academy is the top seed and can’t be discounted and Wildwood Catholic should be a threat at No. 2 but a team to watch is No. 4 Mater Dei, a perennial contender.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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