|VIDEO: Butler blanks Saddle Brook, wins first softball section title|
For a team that had never been this far before, Butler seemed right at home playing in the sectional final. The Bulldogs played their best in defeating Saddle Brook 7-0 to claim the school's first-ever softball section title.
Sophomore Larissa Spellman scattered seven hits in pitching the shutout for Butler. Spellman worked out of whatever trouble she faced thanks in large part to 12 strikeouts.
Meantime, the Bulldogs hit the ball hard throughout the game, pounding out 12 hits. Butler scored multiple runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take complete control of the North 1, Group I final.
Wendy Maurer's RBI double in the second put the top-seeded Bulldogs ahead to stay. Ally Spellman followed with a two-run double to give Butler a 3-0 lead.
Allison DePuyt and Brianne Lipinski had RBI hits in the third inning, and Aleks Apkarian delivered an RBI double to key a two-run rally in the fourth.
Second-seeded Saddle Brook, which rallied from a big deficit in its semifinal, could not find any big hits in this game. The Falcons finish their season 25-5.
Butler is now 26-3. The Bulldogs meet North 2 sectional champ Hoboken in the Group I state semifinals on Tuesday; that game will be played in Ramsey.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school state tournament girls' softball game, click play in the box at left.