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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Late rally lifts Hammonton past Delran


THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Hammonton shortstop Victoria Esau (left) prepares to tag Delran runner Aly Reim (right) early in last week’s win.

HAMMONTON—Ava Livingston’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Hammonton High School’s softball team a 7-6 win against Delran in a game that saw the Blue Devils rally from three deficits to win for the first time in 2023.


Delran scored three runs in the top of the first inning, and led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the third.


After struggling to reach base early in the game, Hammonton rallied for four runs in its half of the third to tie the game 4-4.


Lauren Potter started the rally with a single. Sophia Booker walked before Sophia Vento’s ground ball was thrown away, allowing Potter to score. Two batters later, Alexa Panagopoylos singled in a run, and Ava Divello reached on an error, scoring Vento. After Livingston singled, Jadyn Barker singled in Panagopoylos to tie the game.


Delran took a 5-4 lead in the fifth, but Hammonton tied it again, this time on Panagopoylos’s solo home run.


The Bears rallied again in the top of the sixth, taking a 6-5 lead, and in the bottom of the seventh, Panagopoylos homered again, tying the game 6-6.


Divello followed the home run with a double, setting up Livingston’s single that won the game for the Blue Devils.


“Kind of a crazy game, but we’ll take the win,” Hammonton coach Eric Shulman said.


“We made some early mistakes but were able to overcome them. I think if we swing the bats like we did today, don’t make errors, we’ll be OK,” he said.


The win allowed the Blue Devils to bounce back from a 4-2 season-opening loss at Vineland.


With the game tied 2-2, Vineland scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to win the game.


“We were flat. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities and a few mistakes hurt us,” Schulman said.


Panagopoylos had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run for Hammonton.


Earlier this week, the Blue Devils hosted St. Joseph, but that game ended too late for this edition. On April 13, Hammonton hosts Millville at 4 p.m.

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