• Dan Russoman

HHS Softball tops OLMA


Krista Tzaferos connects for a home run against OLMA last week. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

NEWFIELD—April Lewandowski pitched well and Riley Lancaser and Krista Tzaferos homered as Hammonton High School’s softball team topped host Our Lady of Mercy Academy (OLMA) 6-1 on April 14.


The win came two days after Hammonton was shutout by Egg Harbor Twp. (EHT) 8-0 and improved the Blue Devils’ record to 5-4.


“I thought we played well against a good team today. We missed some chances to score, but it was a nice bounce back win for us,” Hammonton coach Eric Shulman said.


Hammonton stranded a pair of runners in the top of the first, and left one on the second before breaking through in the third with a four-run rally.


Lancaster led off the inning with a solo home run to center, and Gracie Ravenkamp followed with a single. Two batters later, Tzaferos blasted a home run for a 3-0 lead. After Ava Livingston doubled, Ava Divello delivered an RBI double to put the Blue Devils ahead 4-0.


OLMA scored a run in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of an error and a walk.


After working out of trouble in that inning, Lewandowski settled in, retiring 14 of the last 16 batters she faced.


“April [Lewandowski] did a great job for us today. She hit her spots and kept them off the bases,” Shulman said.


Lewandowski finished the game with seven strikeouts, allowing just three hits while walking two.


Leading 4-1, Hammonton tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth when Victoria Esau reached on an error and scored in Sophia Vento’s single. Vento stole second and went to third on an error, scoring on Ravenkamp’s single.


Hammonton opened play last week with a 19-10 win at Buena.


The Devils trailed 5-1 after one inning, but 18 times in the final six frames for the win.


Every batter in the lineup had a hit, as Hammonton finished the game with a season-high 24. Tzaferos went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and five RBIs. Divello added four hits, including a triple, scored a run and drove in three. Ravenkamp was 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI, Giada Palmieri scored three runs, Lancaster had four hits, including two doubles, scored three runs and drove in one, and Alexa Panagopoylos doubled, tripled twice, scored four runs and drove in two. Livingston added a triple and Esau had two RBIs in the win.


Ravenkamp earned the win, striking out one in 4.1 innings of work. Lewandowski pitched 2.2 innings of relief with three strikeouts.


Against EHT, Hammonton’s lineup was held in check by Eagles starter Madison Dollard, who allowed just one hit in five innings, striking out seven.


“Their pitchers were very good, probably the best we’ve seen this season,” Shulman said.


Earlier this week, Hammonton played at Wildwood Catholic, but that game ended too late for this edition. On April 22, the Blue Devils play at Mainland at 4 p.m. and this weekend, Hammonton hosts the Annual Hammonton Invitational Tournament.