The Verona High School softball team was the underdog going into yesterday’s NJSIAA North 2, Section 2 quarterfinal, but you wouldn’t have known that from the way the Lady Hillbillies played. As a result, Verona came away with an upset 2-1 win and a ticket to the semifinals on Friday.
Verona came into the game as the number 6 seed in the bracket, while Caldwell was number 3. The Chiefs, who had a 15-6 record going into the contest, got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the third. Both sides retired quickly in the fourth and then Verona came out blazing in the top of the fifth.
Jessie Loudon popped a hit to right and got to first and then fellow freshman Melanie Naeris, who has been the team’s power hitter, got Loudon home with the first of her two hits of the afternoon. Pitcher Christina Colon, who had 13 strikeouts on the afternoon, got on base next and Olivia Garcia was put in as her base runner. Catcher Carlie Goldstein then knocked out the hit that got Garcia home. Brooke Anquillare also had a hit, as did Allison Naeris.
The win improved Verona’s record to 11-12 on the season. Verona will face number 2 seed Hanover Park on Friday in Hanover Park for a 4 p.m. game. The other semifinal will be between number 1 Parsippany and whoever wins the Rutherford-Morris Tech quarterfinal today.