Lancers repeat in MCT, SCT and states are next

first_imgBY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent St. John Vianney High School’s softball team kicked off the postseason tournament slate with a title, winning the Monmouth County Tournament (MCT) championship for a fourth consecutive season.Amanda Durham went 4-4 with an RBI triple in the fourth inning, while pitcher Katie Beriont struck out seven on her way to a onehit shutout in the 8-0 win over Wall High School in the Red Division finals on May 18.Helena Coppola had a run-scoring double, and Jackie Gallagher reached base four times. Claire Stefanelli’s two-run single in the sixth put the finishing touches on the victory that gave Beriont her 19th win of the season.The county title is another in a long line of accomplishments for St. John Vianney, but head coach Kim Lombardi said this team is a bit different compared to past seasons.“You don’t always expect who will hit. It’s not always the same kids scoring runs. It’s really one through nine,” Lombardi said.While Beriont has continued to be dominant on the mound, she can’t always strike out seven, as Lombardi put it.That’s where the defense comes in.“Katie is always in control, but the defense is playing very well behind her. We’re playing exceptional defense,” the head coach said.With the county tournament over, the Lancers are eyeing equally successful runs in the Shore Conference and NJSIAA after coming within one win last year of taking home titles in each tournament. In 2012, Wall outlasted St. John Vianney, 8-7, in the Shore Conference title game. The Lancers lost, 3-0, in the Non-Public A championship against Immaculate Heart Academy.St. John Vianney (21-1), the top seed, had a first-round bye in the conference tournament and will play Jackson Memorial High School on May 25.The Lancers also have a bye in the opening round of the state tournament. St. John Vianney, which is in the Non-Public South A bracket, will play the winner of a May 23 game between Red Bank Catholic High School and Pingry School in a second-round matchup scheduled for May 28.Lombardi said her team, which has been in tough spots before, has proven it can play at a high level.On May 13, St. John Vianney and Morris Knolls High School squared off in a battle between two of the top teams in the state. Beriont held the opponent to four hits over seven innings, while Gallagher drove in the deciding run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, as the Lancers edged out a 2-0 win.The Lancers have played in big games, including those in the MCT, and that experience could prove beneficial as the matchups get tougher.“The teams will be disciplined and well coached,” she said of the competition in the state tournament. “If the girls play the way they’re capable of, I can see us having success.”last_img read more