The North Bergen Recreation girls' softball league is definitely one of the most competitive in-house leagues in Hudson County. You can easily tell why the North Bergen High School softball program is perennially one of the strongest in the HCIAA, because the girls are all usually products of the competitive Recreation league.
This summer was no exception, as the league produced many thrilling moments.
In the Senior Division, the North Bergen Rockets were the dominant force this season, winning all 12 of their regular season games.
In that league, it's not an easy task to rumble through the league without a blemish, but that's what coach Silvio Jijon's squad did this summer, winning its second straight league title in the process.
Maybe a dynasty is brewing here.
Leading the way for the Rockets was Alysa Davison, whom Jijon called the best pitcher in the league. Davison was also a standout at the plate as well.
Andrea Jijon, the coach's daughter, also had a fine summer. The younger Jijon, who played varsity at North Bergen High School in the spring, had three hits with a homer and two RBI in the championship game of the league earlier this month.
Jennifer Martinez, the starting shortstop for the HCIAA Seglio Division High Tech Lasercats last spring, is the mainstay of the infield for the Rockets. It helps immensely having someone like Martinez who has vast experience already.
The rest of the Rockets are Evette Arzola, Jessica Marie Gonzalo, Nicole Sigcha, Grace and Suhery Tavarez, Melissa Kehoe, Tatiana Montufar, Julissa Rodriguez, Samira Munoz and Yanesa Flores.
"I really enjoyed this season, not only because we won the championship but because this is a great group of girls who played every single game with discipline and respect to the teammates and the other teams," the elder Jijon said. "Now all the effort had the best prize, becoming the champions of the North Bergen Recreation league."
While the District 7 Little League 12-year-old champs were crowned last week, the 11-year-old tourney winds down to the precious few teams, with Secaucus reaching the final round against North Bergen.
Secaucus reached the finals with a resounding 18-6 win over Hoboken North Monday night, with John Sakatos providing the big blows on offense, smacking a homer and delivering three RBI.
Andrew Conti, whose late grandfather, Carmine, was the main cog in District 7 Little League for more than 30 years, was also a key contributor with two hits and two RBI. Carmine Goldsack had three hits and four RBI for the winners.
Secaucus and North Bergen will play in the best-of-three to determine the 11-year-old District champion this weekend. We'll have more in next week's Extra Innings feature.
The EXTRA INNINGS weekly feature focuses on the best stories that come from local baseball and softball leagues throughout the area.
If you have any noteworthy information to contribute to the EXTRA INNINGS, feel free to contact Jim Hague by voice mail at 201-798-7800, ext. 751, by general mail at 1400 Washington Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, or via e-mail at OGSMAR@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a telephone contact name and number, in order to secure further information for a possible story.... - Jim Hague