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High School Softball:
The 2002 South Jersey Group 2 State Champs are the Ladies from Northern Burlington

Saturday, June 8, 2002

By Crystal Parker
SJSports Staff Writer

It was a play that will be remembered by all attending the South Jersey Group 2 State championship game against Northern Burlington and Pompton Lakes played at Toms River North. All the Greyhounds needed was one more out in the last inning to be recognized as the State champions. With a runner in scoring position and two outs, Greyhounds' centerfielder Dusty Archer and right fielder Jessica Gibbs were charging on a fly ball in the outfield. Not to be denied, Archer came up with the catch for not only the third out of the inning but also giving Northern Burlington their first ever state championship with a 1-0 victory over Pompton Lakes.

It came down to one more game for the Lady Greyhounds from Northern Burlington. After capturing the South Jersey title with a 3-2 win over Point Pleasant Boro, it was time now to have their sites on the state title against the successful Lady Cardinals from Pompton Lakes. The Greyhounds have been having a tough quest to their journey to the states championship game. Northern Burlington had extended game against Burlington Township in the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs, but the Greyhounds overcame every hurdle put in front of them.

Northern Burlington got the only run of this game in the top of the third inning when Kristi Stefanoni drilled a two out double to left center to get the rally started. At that time, it seemed to be another scoring threat that would go unanswered as Kelly Quigley was able to pitch out of any trouble the Crusaders was put in front of them. This time, Lyndsay Mouse singled up the middle to give the Greyhounds a 1-0 led.

The exciting seventh inning was set up when starting pitcher Kerry Lee took the mound for Northern Burlington. Pompton Lakes would not just go away as they started their rally. Amanda Roosa led the inning with a base hit and then sacrificed to second base. A ground out moved Roosa to third base with two outs. Starting pitcher Kelly Quigley stepped up to the plate and hit a ball to the outfield. With the ball in the air heading to right center field, Archer and Gibbs were both tracking the ball down. It would be Archer charging for the ball and catching it to sealed the victory for Northern Burlington. On the play, Archer and Gibbs collided but Archer hung onto the ball.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.