WARREN, NJ - Alyssa Murray allowed five hits and one earned run over seven innings for Watchung Hills, No. 19 in The Star-Ledger Top 20, as it defeated Immaculata, 3-1.
Last year, the Warriors went to the state Group IV final led by graduating senior, right-hander Abby Cline.
Sophomore Alyssa Murray has taken over, and just like Cline, has shown an ability to come through with the game on the line.
Watchung Hills claimed a 3-1 home victory over Immaculata despite facing bases-loaded, one-out jams in the sixth and seventh inning. Murray remained calm, trusted her defense and got it done.
Watchung Hills took a 2-0 lead into the top of the sixth inning. Murray walked Melissa Weingartner and Megan Colline, but Watchung Hills shortstop Meghan Kovac flipped a grounder to third baseman Annie Suitovsky for a force out. Then Murray walked Erica Bower to load the bases. After a sacrifice fly to center field, a weak grounder to the shortstop to ended it.
The Warriors added a run to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth.
Meghan Kovac and Kayla Schinik each finished with a hit and a run scored for Watchung Hills while Gina Priore and Deanna Gonnella each also contributed a hit.
Senior Josie Novak allowed no earned runs on just three hits, walked three and struck out seven for Immaculata.