Adrianna Green was not entirely satisfied with her performance in her first game of the NJSIAA playoffs.
Green, a sophomore at Gloucester Catholic High School, threw a hit, struck out 15 Holy Cross hitters on strikes and scored the lone run of the game as the third-seeded Rams, advanced to the South Jersey B non-public playoffs with a 1-0 victory over the sixth-seeded Lancers.
So what else could Green have asked for?
“Not bad but not the best,” Green said. “I took two walks, it could have been none.”
Green said she wasn’t nervous even as her pitching duel with Holy Cross senior Emma Chiemiego reached the final innings. Chiemiego finished with four batters and five strikeouts.
“I had a few nerves coming up, but once I got settled in I said ‘I’m fine, I got it,'” Green said.
Green finally helped break the deadlock when she walked over to take the lead off the bottom of Sixth. She then came home when Cambrie Todd called with a brace down the field at center right.
“With a big hit like that, the team is pumped up and the energy goes up,” said Todd, who was dancing on second base after the hit.
Chiemiego and the Lancers escaped further damage to keep the score 1-0, but it still seemed like a long shot given Green’s dominance.
Then, with two outs and a runner on base, clean-up hitter Madison Baran hit the fence with a blast that center fielder Abby Laphan found for the final out. The Rams admitted their respective hearts missed a beat when the ball left the bat.
“I heard the sound and I thought ‘Oh my God’,” Todd said. “Then I saw Abby come back and I knew she had it, but it was pretty scary.”
Green added, “I thought it was going to end and then our great senior center fielder made a great play.”
Holy Cross – as it has done all season – played the game with nine players. The Lancers have even had to play four games recently, eight of them due to injury.
They nearly pulled off the surprise, however, but couldn’t push a run into the seventh or third when they placed runners in the second and third with no walkout and error. A strikeout, a failed suicide attempt and a runner caught stealing ended the round.
Gloucester Catholic coach Carly Todd said she thought the Lancers would try to squeeze and called a drop, which Green executed and wide receiver Cambrie Todd took in the dirt.
“Maybe I could have been more patient, but when the bottom order comes on base you have to shoot,” Holy Cross coach Mike Sacca said. “I just told them I couldn’t ask for more today. They played championship caliber softball against a high caliber team and pitcher. It was unbelievable. They fought all day.
Green struck out his 200th batter on catches of his first season in the second inning. She received banners for her 100th and 200th strikeouts.
How many more banners does it have with two more seasons?
“A lot more,” Green said. “I hang them on my wall. “
The Rams will need to be much better if they are to win their semi-final game against second-seeded Gill St. Bernards and 10th-seeded Holy Spirit.
“We had some free time and it showed a bit, we were a little too relaxed,” Carly Todd said. “I hope we start where we left off in this sixth round of the next game.”
But will Green have to be better? Can she?
“You go out and play for something, and I think Ade has done really well,” said Carly Todd. “She puts the team on her back when necessary and runs with it.”
The NJ High School Sports newsletter now appears in mailboxes 5 days a week. Sign up now and be the first to get all the boys and girls sports you care about, straight to your inbox every day of the week. To add your name, Click here.
Bill Evans can be reached at email@example.com. Thank you for relying on us to provide journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.