BERKELEY – The Berkeley Blaze fastpitch softball team is officially the best team in New Jersey, after winning the 14U championship.
The United States Specialty Sports Association state championships were held in Mount Laurel and encompassed five games with top teams from throughout the state – all in one grueling weekend.
They edged out some of the competition during pool play on Saturday, with a record of 2-1-0, according to team highlights. They were seeded eleventh out of 26 teams when they moved into bracket play on Sunday.
What followed was a slew of games nearly back to back. They won over the Edison Angels, CJ Force Elite, and Amwell Attitude. With very little down time, they then proceeded into a semi-final game against the number two seeded team, the Black Diamonds. An 8-5 win placed them in the championship game against Jersey Intensity. They won in the 5th inning when the score was 9-8, but they had hit the regulation time limit.
As a reward for their win, each player was given a State Championship 14U B plaque and a custom USSSA State Champ jacket for their achievement.
The players are as follows: Ava Cino #3, Gaetiana Cino #72, Hannah Costa #55, Brittany Gable #21, Cassidy Krill #27, Alexis Hansson #30, Riya Khullar #1, Samantha Rullo #10, Karleigh Stout #23, Erica Scheinberg #80, and Bethany Suarez #16.
The coaching staff includes Vinnie Cino, Carolyn Anderson, Mark Costa, and Ernie Suarez.