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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Hammonton tops Oakcrest for Shulman’s 100th victory

Alexa Panagopoylos helped Hammonton High School’s softball team remain undefeated with four wins last week. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—A run in the bottom of the sixth inning pushed Hammonton High School’s softball team past Oakcrest 3-2 on May 12, giving head coach Eric Shulman the 100th win of his career.

Shulman took over from Stacy Jones in 2013 and has led the Blue Devils to a pair of South Jersey Group 3 titles.

“It’s a great accomplishment. I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue the strong tradition after Stacy [Jones] retired, and I’m thankful for the coaches who’ve been with us, the parents who’ve supported us and, most importantly, the athletes that have made the commitment to the program,” Shulman said.

Last week’s game against Oakcrest was tight from start to finish. The visiting Falcons scored once in the top of the first inning, but Hammonton tied the game in the bottom of the first. In the third, Oakcrest took a 2-1 lead, but once again, Hammonton tied it in its half of the frame. The Blue Devils grabbed the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the sixth.

Lilly Miller was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and Makenzie Edwards struck out 10 while allowing just two hits to earn the win. She added a triple and Ava Livingston drove in a run for the Blue Devils.

The victory came after Hammonton won another close game, defeating Vineland on May 10.

In that game, the Blue Devils took an early 1-0 lead, then scored twice in the fifth to back Edwards, who allowed two hits and struck out 10 to pick up the shutout.

Krista Tzaferos was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win, while Alexa Panagopoylos homered and drove in two runs.

Later in the week, Hammonton remained undefeated by posting a lopsided win at Buena and a close victory at Washington Twp.

Playing at Buena on May 13, the Blue Devils erupted for seven runs in the top of the sixth inning to turn around a close game and post an 11-2 win.

Riley Lancaster scored twice and drove in two for Hammonton, while Ava Divello added two hits, a run and an RBI. Sophia Vento scored twice and had two hits and Panagopoylos also drove in a run.

Livingston had three hits and an RBI in the win.

Edwards earned the win, striking out 11.

The week ended with a 5-4 extra-inning victory at Washington Twp. on May 14.

Edwards belted a three-run homer in the top of the eighth inning for Hammonton and also picked up the win, striking out 15 and allowing five hits while walking two.

Panagopoylos added two hits and two RBIS and Vento went 2-for-3 in the win.

Earlier this week, Hammonton hosted Absegami, but that game ended too late for this edition.

On May 20, the Blue Devils play at Holy Spirit at 4 p.m., then they visit Atlantic City at 4 p.m. on May 21.


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