Seniors lead Highlanders to victory

Above%3A+Softball+team+celebrates+North+Jersey+Section+1%2C+Group+3+victory.+Photo+Courtesey%3A+George+McNish+forNJ+Advance+Media+via+NJ.com
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Seniors lead Highlanders to victory

Above: Softball team celebrates North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 victory. Photo Courtesey: George McNish forNJ Advance Media via NJ.com

Above: Softball team celebrates North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 victory. Photo Courtesey: George McNish forNJ Advance Media via NJ.com

Above: Softball team celebrates North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 victory. Photo Courtesey: George McNish forNJ Advance Media via NJ.com

Above: Softball team celebrates North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 victory. Photo Courtesey: George McNish forNJ Advance Media via NJ.com

Mike Wis, Buckys Backyard Editor

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The lady Highlanders had an incredible season that cultivated in a state sectional title.
The West Milford softball team was a force to be reckoned with in 2019, meeting their high expectations within preseason ranks.
Led by Senior Captain Jess Perucki, who carried the pitching load with 218 strikeouts in only 148 innings of work. Jess also had a team high 33 hits and 24 RBI(runs batted in), with 4 home runs to add. She was rewarded for her success, named to first team all county and conference. Perucki will continue her softball career at Southern Connecticut University
Behind Perucki were a multitude of players who stepped up to help the team with this state sectional title, including Senior Natalie Marzalik who had an outstanding season. She was able for tally 29 hits and 2 homeruns. She was also named to first team all county and conference for her performance.
Freshman star Samantha Araujo came up big for the team in her first year with 24 hits, 18 RBI and 4 home runs. She was a huge piece in the Highlanders taking the next step from last year and going deep into the state tournament. She was awarded second team all county.
Huge pieces also include Seniors Jenna Moran, Jessica Reilly, Mackenzie’s McGuinness, and Kristen Cienki.
This was a special team of experienced players filled in with young talent, and head coach Gwinnett knows just how special this group of players was, “this will definitely be a difficult group of seniors to watch leave.”
West Milford fell in the final Passaic County Tournament to PCTI after a slow start to the season in conference play. But this never derailed the team’s success for the season, as the state tournament was an incredible run to watch.
West Milford was able to defeat teams such as River Dell, Paramus, and even defeat the one-seeded Ramapo to get to the final, where they were able to defeat West Essex 3-1.
West Milford would fall to Chatnam 6-0 at Seaton Hall University. This would put an end to one of the school’s most historic and successful runs it has ever seen not only in the sport of softball, but athletics as a whole.
Watching a special senior class walk will be difficult after all the success they had, going 14-11 with the state sectional title. But they have a youth that played a huge role this year they take into next year, and a hunger to fill the shoes of this graduating class and all the success they’ve achieved through their four years in this high school.
Good luck to all the seniors on their future endevors.

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