• Dan Russoman

St. Joseph softball win streak ends with loss to EHT


St. Joseph’s Katie Dainton throws to first after retiring Egg Harbor Twp. runner Ryley Martini during last week’s game. (THG/Dan Russoman.To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

HAMMONTON—Two Egg Harbor Twp. (EHT) pitchers handcuffed a strong St. Joseph Academy lineup, handing the Wildcats’ softball team its first loss of the season last week in a key Cape Atlantic League matchup.


The victory allowed the Eagles to avenge an earlier 2-1 loss to the Wildcats and snapped a 20-game winning streak for St. Joseph.


EHT pitchers Haley Korsak and Madison Dollard kept St. Joe off the bases for much of the game, allowing just three hits to a Wildcats team that came into the game averaging more than 12 runs per contest.


“We just couldn’t come up with a big hit,” St. Joseph coach Les Olson said.


The Wildcats stranded 10 runners in the game, and were never able to capitalize on their scoring chances.


“We struggled at the plate, that’s for sure. Their pitchers threw nice, both of them. I thought if we could get one run, cut it to 2-1, maybe we’d put some pressure on them. But we could never get that one big hit,” Olson said.


Egg Harbor Twp. scored both its runs in the top of the third inning. Madison Biddle connected for a one-out single and scored on Sienna Walterson’s single for a 1-0 lead. The Eagles then loaded the bases before Payton Colbert drew a walk that drove in Walterson for the second run.


St. Joe stranded two runners in the bottom of the third, and two more in the fourth, when the Wildcats’ first two hitters reached base.


In the bottom of the fifth, Brianna Bailey led off with a single, but was stranded at third when Dollard struck out Makayla Veneziale to end the threat.


The loss was a tough one, but St. Joe seemed ready to move on to its next matchup.


“I told them [his team], it’s not the end of the world, We have a big game coming up against Ocean City and if we win that, we share the division championship. We have to practice well and get ready for the next one,” Olson said.


The “next one” was a 4-0 win against Ocean City that gave St. Joseph at least a tie for the National Division title.


Jenna Calchi tripled and drove in two runs while Bailey had a single to help Veneziale earn the win.


St. Joseph’s week ended with a 9-0 win against Burlington Twp. last weekend.


In that game, Veneziale collected the 100th hit of her career, while Katie Dainton added three hits and four RBIs.


Earlier this week, St. Joe played at Audubon and also hosted Cherokee, but both games ended too late for this edition. On May 28, the Wildcats host Clayton at 4 p.m.