Columbia HS softball team falls to Verona in ECT quarterfinals; gears up for state tournament

Hudson Hassler has been a key player for the Columbia High softball team this season. Photo by Steve Ellmore.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The fifth-seeded Columbia High School varsity softball team fell to fourth-seeded Verona, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the Essex County Tournament on Saturday, May 12, at Verona. The Cougars, who moved to a 12-7 record, hope to make a strong run in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 state tournament. CHS, seeded fifth, will host No. 12 seed Scotch Plains-Fanwood in the first round on May 17 at Meadowland Park.

Hudson Hassler went 3-for-4 with a triple, four RBI and three runs scored in the 10-0 road win over Glen Ridge on May 7. Paige Carlson went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored  and Claire Salinardo went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBI. Ellie Mischel pitched a five-inning one-hitter with six strikeouts.

CHS lost at Montville, 7-4, May 8. Alexa Stephan and Jordan Stephan each had two hits and an RBI.

Columbia defeated Belleville, 4-0, May 9, at Meadowland Park. Jordan Stephan allowed one hit over five innings, striking out six, for the win, and also went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Catherine John pitched two innings of one-hit ball and struck out five and also hit a triple and drove in two runs. Emily Brown went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Cougars scored all four runs in the top of the second inning and beat Cranford, 4-1, May 10 on the road. Salinardo went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI and Hassler went 2-for-4 with a double. Clementine Sherman went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. Mischel pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts.