ORANGE, NJ – The Orange High School varsity softball team’s mission this season is to win the Super Essex Conference-Freedom Division title.
Not only are the Tornadoes halfway toward achieving that goal, but they are also having their best season ever.
The Tornadoes boasted a 7-0 record through April 20, one of just 17 teams in the state to be undefeated, according to OHS head coach Peter Naumowicz, who added it’s best season in his six years at the helm. OHS defeated Christ the King Prep, Central, Snyder, Immaculate Conception of Montclair, Weequahic, Shabazz, and Golda Och Academy. All those games, except for Snyder, were in the division.
Talking to past members of the school and community, Naumowicz said there is a sense of surprise at how well the team has performed.
But the turnaround started with the support of OHS Athletic Director Mohammed Abdelaziz, “who has provided positive support and guidance for all student-athletes,” said Naumowicz.
The Tornadoes have shown tremendous determination.
“I just keep telling everyone we are ready, we are disciplined, (and) we are playing for a goal, which is winning the division and making states after the next two weeks,” Naumowicz said. “The girls have been in the weight room the whole winter season, starting in November (and) ending the day before the tryouts, twice a week, working with the condition coach. We started Day one of tryouts with various college throwing and fielding techniques. Every play on defense, the girls are focused and ready to make a play, which is a reason our errors are much lower this year.”
The Tornadoes have received stellar leadership from three-year letterwinner Ashely Moscoso, who is the team’s No. 1 pitcher as well as a captain. “She leads by example,” said Naumowicz. “If you check out her stats this year, it’s a true testament to her dedication.”
Naumowicz also has praised Orezia Logus, the starting center fielder and another captain. “She has been putting together a great season with sacrifice hits and being the vocal team leader. She isn’t afraid to say how it is.”
Another impact player has been Stefany Aguliar, a first-year player who has stepped up as the No. 2 pitcher. She also is solid at the plate, leading the team in hits and ranking second in Runs Batted In.
Naumowicz mentioned a few highlights this season.
“The biggest highlight of this year was the Snyder game where we were down 13-8 going into the bottom of the seventh inning and managed to score six to win the game which was in most part to plate and team discipline. taking a strike while behind in the count and forcing walks especially with the bases loaded. Other highlights are Ashley’s multiple double-digit strikeout games; Amanda Anderson’s leadoff home run on her birthday; and Ashley and Stefany’s two- triple game.”
Indeed, Naumowicz has been proud of his team.
“The girls have been working really hard, always showing up and pushing each other as our team had over 35 girls trying out. We have seen a lot of growth. Our team is relatively young with only one senior, Kamora Oliver, which bolds well for next season. The girls have been fighting hard to remain undefeated, but they still come to perform every single day.
“Coach Stephanie Ross and I are proud of all the players’ hard work and thrilled with the growing support we have received from various members in the community.”
The Tornadoes have a busy schedule for the next few weeks. The cutoff for the state tournament is the first 15 games of the season.
The Tornadoes play their home games at Orange Park.
Remaining regular-season schedule
April 24, Lacordaire, 4 p.m.
April 26, Christ the King Prep, 4 p.m.
April 28, University, 4 p.m.
April 29, at University, 11 a.m.
May 1, at Central, 4:30 p.m.
May 2, at Lacordaire, 4 p.m.
May 3, Plainfield, 4:30 p.m.
May 6, New Brunswick, 2 p.m.
May 8, Immaculate, 4 p.m.
May 10, Dickinson, 4:30 p.m.
May 11, at Weequahic, 4 p.m.
May 12, at Plainfield, 4:30 p.m.
May 15, Shabazz, 4 p.m.
May 17, at Golda Och, 4 p.m.