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High School Softball:
Audubon Wins Battle of the Conferences Tournament

Saturday, April 20, 2002

By Crystal Parker
SJSports Staff Writer

There were only four teams remaining in this tournament, and each team had the confidence that they would be the winner. When Overbrook, Audubon, Rancocas Valley and Holy Cross took the field Saturday morning at Overbrook Senior High, these girls had their sites on making it to the championship if they played a complete game. After Rancocas Valley and Overbrook were eliminated in the semi-finals in extra innings, Audubon's Candace O'Donnell led a team effort in capturing a 9-1 victory over Holy Cross.

The semifinal round of this tournament was very competitive as both games went into extra innings. Holy Cross and Rancocas Valley were very familiar with one another as these represented the Burlington County Liberty Division. Earlier this month, the Lady Lancers defeated Rancocas Valley by a 2-1 score. Again facing each other, it was starting pitcher Kristie Gola on the mound for Holy Cross and the Red Devils countered with Lisa Sweeney. Both starting pitchers kept their opponents off the scoreboard through seven innings. Each team would score a run in the eighth inning to set up the Lancers dramatic in the top of the ninth inning. Gola along with Alaina Giles proved the extra runs necessary to defeat the Red Devils 4-2.

Overbrook had the privilege of hosting this tournament on their home field. But they had the task of going up against a red-hot Audubon Green Wave and their successful undefeated softball team. Coming into this game, Audubon kept Pennsauken, Lindenwold and Haddon Township scoreless as they increased their record to 10-0 before today's games. The Lady Rams had other plans for Audubon as they took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Kelsi Fanelli got a hold of a pitch that got past the outfielders in left center to tie the game on her homerun. This game also went into extra innings and ended with the Green Wave scoring the winning run in the bottom of the eight to defeat Overbrook 2-1.

Both of the winning teams went with their pitchers that got them to the finals. Candace O'Donnell and Kristie Gola were ready to go another round for their teams. In the second inning, Audubon would score all the runs they needed to win this game. With the bases loaded, O'Donnell's single scored Fanelli and Jen Fenton to take a 2-0 lead.

Photos by Art Redd

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