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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Bill delivers for Wildcats

THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Angelina Bill connects for a bases-loaded double during St. Joseph’s South Jersey Championship game against Gloucester Catholic.

HAMMONTON—A season’s worth of frustration came to end for St. Joseph Academy junior Angelina Bill on June 2, as she broke out of a long slump to drive in four runs and help the Wildcats win their fourth-straight South Jersey Non-Public B championship.

“This game was big for me. It was great to help my team win,” Bill said.

It’s been a rough season for Bill, who began the year with high expectations only to see her season spoiled by a pair of injuries.

A pitcher and catcher, Bill was hampered by a knee injury to begin the year and then broke a finger on her throwing hand, leading to a four-week layoff.

“It’s been frustrating. Coming back from a [knee] injury and then being out four weeks. Not being able to throw and when I came back, I was able to get a few at bats here and there, and I would really struggle,” Bill said.

Sporting just a .182 average this season, Bill was an unlikely hero for the Wildcats in the title game.

“She’s struggled, that’s for sure. But she had her best batting practice of the season yesterday [June1] and was just spraying the ball all over and that carried over to today. Angelina is a good hitter and today she showed it,” St. Joseph coach Les Olson said.

Bill impacted the game three times at the plate, beginning with a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the second inning.

The perfectly-placed bunt sent Bella Davis to third where she would later score the game’s first run on a wild pitch.

“We don’t get that run if she doesn’t get that bunt down,” Olson said.

Bill was a little surprised Olson called for the sacrifice.

“He [Olson] surprised me with that sign my first at bat, but I’m good at that and it worked out perfectly for us,” she said.

In the third inning, batting with the bases loaded, Bill sent a sharp line drive into the left center field gap for a bases-clearing double that gave the Wildcats a 5-0 lead.

“The double boosted my confidence and I was looking for that inside pitch which I got and I was able to make a good swing,” Bill said.

She added to her stellar day with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth that stole any momentum Gloucester Catholic had gained by scoring twice in the top of the inning.

“The home run surprised me a lot. It really did. It’s my first home run ever. I’m a line drive hitter. It made me feel good. It’s definitely brought my confidence up after all this,” Bill said.

Delivering in big spots in an important game helped salvage an otherwise rough season for Bill.

“It’s been frustrating. First I tweaked my knee and still had to pitch. Then I shattered my knuckle on my throwing hand and not being able to do anything, it really took my confidence down a bit,” she said.

With a strong game behind her, Bill is eager to play in this week’s state championship game.

“This is two [South Jersey titles] for me and now I can focus on wining a state championship,” Bill said.


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