The Brookdale Jersey Blues women’s softball team finished its season 3rd in the nation, with an overall record of 33-12, including the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIX championship titles and the Garden State Athletic Conference!
Here is a summary of the championship title races.
To claim the prestigious NJCAA Division III North Atlantic District A Championship title, the Jersey Blues defeated the Lehigh Carbon Community College Cougars (PA), 3-2, 10-6. Head coach Bo Scannapieco was named Region XIX Coach of the Year and freshman pitcher Gianna Praet was named tournament MVP.
To be named the 2022 Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) champions, the Blues finished the regular season with a conference record of 12-2 and an overall record of 30-10. They were tied with Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ)-Gloucester Roadrunners, who also finished their regular season 12-2 in the conference. But since the Jersey Blues outscored the Lehigh Carbon Community College Cougars (PA), winning the Region XIX Championship title to qualify for the NJCAA Tournament, the Blues had the edge they needed. The Roadrunners faced Conference Affiliate Middlesex College in the Region XIX Finals and lost the three-game series, which ended with Brookdale as the GSAC Champs!
In Syracuse, NY, at the NJCAA DIII National Championship Tournament, in Game 1, the No. 5-seeded Jersey Blues defeated the No. 4-seeded Herkimer Generals of Herkimer, NY, 1-0 . Brookdale next faced the No. 1 seed, Rock Valley College Golden Eagles, of Rockford, IL. In the intense match, Brookdale fell, 2-1. First-year receiver Zoey Hagan scored the only point for the Jersey Blues.
In the third round, the Jersey Blues stormed the No. 7 seeded St. Cloud Technical Community College Minnesota Cyclones with a 6-2 victory in the playoff game. In their push to victory, the 6th inning brought back-to-back homers from winning freshman pitcher Gianna Praet and freshman shortstop Nicolette Pavlik. Gianna Praet earned him stay in the circle, pitching all seven innings with an earned run and five strikeouts. Praet swung 3-4, adding two RBIs for the Blues. RBI hits came 2-3 Nicolette Pavlik, freshman third baseman Zoey Hagan, freshman center fielder Amaya Marreroand freshman second baseman Julia Channel. First-year receiver, Alyssa Sigerwent 3-4 and added a stolen base to help drive Brookdale forward.
With the victory, Brookdale then faced the third seeded North Dakota State College of Science Wildcats in the fourth round playoff game. The Brookdale Blues went wild in the first inning of the championship playoff round with four runs to set the tone for the game, beating the North Dakota State College of Science Wildcats, 8-4. Freshman shortstop/third baseman Nicolette Pavlik hit 1-2 for a home run, third baseman/freshman receiver Zoey Hagan hit 2-4, including two doubles for an RBI , and freshman right fielder/first baseman, Charlotte Piper, was 2-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Additionally, Jersey Blues second baseman Julia Canal hit a sacrifice fly, and game-winning freshman pitcher Gianna Praet took her overall record to 18-5.
The Jersey Blues then advanced to the semi-finals to meet second seed SUNY Corning Community College Red Barons of Steuben County, NY. After a long night of weather disruptions, the Brookdale Blues lost a tough late night game 20-4. As the Blues played the previous game against the Wildcats, the Red Barons quickly stormed out with a 4-0 lead in the first inning. It wasn’t until the 5th inning that the Red Barons broke out with 13 unanswered runs to defeat the Blues. Freshman shortstop Gianna Praet had two RBI hits, freshman right fielder/third baseman Amaya Marrero hit in a brace for an RBI, and third Freshman baseman Nicolette Pavlik added an RBI hit. Freshman first baseman Charlotte Piper helped with her sack theft in the tough loss.
The No. 1 seed, the Rock Valley College Golden Eagles of Rockford, IL, won their 8th consecutive Division III title. And Brookdale had a fantastic run in its 18th appearance in the NJCAA Division III Softball National Championship Tournament, the most ever.