Lady Jets playing for first state title
Jordan-Matthews and East Rutherford will play for each softball program’s first state championship Friday and Saturday in a best-of-three final series at Walnut Creek Softball Complex.
Jordan-Matthews (23-4) has been setting a new program postseason standard with each victory since the third round of the state tournament; four victories ago.
Game one is set for 8 p.m. tonight. The series will resume Saturday with game two at 11 a.m. and game three, if necessary, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 per game.
The Lady Jets made it by host Wheatmore 7-3 in their first-ever third round appearance. Sophomore pitcher Holly Clark fired the Lady Jets by South Columbus, with 13 strikeouts in a 6-1 win in their first quarterfinal game.
In the state semifinals/East Region final, Jordan-Matthews faced Northeastern and opened the three-game series with a trip to Elizabeth City. Clark drove in two RBI, scoring Madison Poe both times, and pitched a complete game in a 4-2 Lady Jet win. In game two in Siler City last Thursday, Jordan-Matthews led 6-1 after two innings and rolled to a 9-2 win to reach the state championship. Katie Black and Clark had two RBI each while Hanna Stackhouse, Dee DeCristofaro, Madison Poe and Caroline Webster added one each.
Clark fired a five-hit complete game in game two and tallied 16 strikeouts in the semifinal series. She’s pitched in every Lady Jet game this season with a 1.19 ERA, 219 strikeouts and 17 walks in 159 innings.
DeCristofaro, the Lady Jet catcher and typically their third-spot hitter, is hitting .540 on the season with 41 RBI.
Deservedly, the state final is a match-up of conference champs: Jordan-Matthews went undefeated through the Mid-State Conference and has won 13 straight overall. Going back to late February and early March, Jordan-Matthews started the season 4-3. East Rutherford (25-3), from Forest City, is the 2A/3A South Mountain Athletic Conference champ.
East Rutherford advanced in three games versus Forbush in the West Region final. The Lady Cavaliers won game one 9-6 at home. Forbush took game two 10-1. East Rutherford, back at home, won game three 6-4.