Nutley HS softball team upsets Livingston to reach ECT final

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NUTLEY, NJ — The third-seeded Nutley High School softball team upset second-seeded Livingston, 3-2, on Sunday, May 15, at Seton Hall University’s Mike Sheppard Sr. Field in South Orange to advance to the Essex County Tournament championship.

Lia DeMaio went 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, and a run; Fallyn Stoeckel and Gabriella Mariano each went 2-for-3, and Sydney Hess had two hits in the semifinal victory. Stoeckel also was the winning pitcher as she scattered seven hits with no walks.

Livingston was ranked No. 12 in the state by nj.com and fell to 14-6. Nutley, which improved to a 16-4 record on the season, will face top-seeded Mount Saint Dominic Academy in the ECT championship game on Saturday, May 21, at Mike Sheppard Sr. Field at 7 p.m.

Nutley avenged two previous meetings with Livingston this season. Nutley lost to Livignston, 4-3, at home in the season opener on April 1 and 8-1 on April 20 in Super Essex Conference–American Division play.

Nutley, under head coach Luann Zullo, has reached the ECT final for the first time since 2011 when it defeated Mount Saint Dominic Academy, 3-0. Nutley has won two ECT titles. Their other ECT title was in 1993 when they beat Belleville, 2-1. The ECT began in 1978. 

Nutley lost to Mount Saint Dominic Academy, 7-0, at home in the teams’ only divisional meeting so far this season.

Nutley also is the No. 2 seed in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3, tournament. Nutley will host No. 15 seed Mendham in the semifinals on Tuesday, May 17. The winner will face the winner between No. 7 seed Rahway and No. 10 seed Summit in the quarterfinals on Friday, May 20. The top seed is Cranford.

Zullo has been the NHS head coach since 1999.

Photos By Steve Ellmore.

Nutley vs. Columbia in the ECT quarterfinals on May 10, at Yanticaw Park. Nutley won, 5-0. 

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