SADDLE BROOK — The Saddle Brook High School softball team might not have taken the state sectional title, but it was in the running again.
The Lady Falcons were no match for Butler and its pitcher, Larissa Spellman, as they dropped the Group 1 North 1 state sectional title game, 7-0.
Despite the loss it has been 17 straight years that the program has collected at least 20 wins or gone to the state sectional semi-finals.
“The program has been very consistent,” said Saddle Brook head coach Darren White. “It’s amazing considering there are 190 girls in the entire school in all four grades.”
White credits the girls that he has coached as well as the Saddle Brook feeder program in the township.
The Falcons finished with a 25-6 record and were second in the North Jersey Interscholastic Conference (NJIC) Meadowlands Division, behind Immaculate Conception, which won the Non-Public B state title.
One of the best played games this season for the Falcons came in the HOFS Classic in April at Saddle Brook where the Lady Falcons defeated Raritan, 5-1 along with a 4-0 victory at Pompton Lakes where pitcher Danielle Archibald struck out 10.
In addition, White points to the 11-1 win over Hasbrouck Heights in the state playoffs and also a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over Cedar Grove in the Group 1 North 1 state sectional semi-final.
For 2014, White had a good group of seniors, especially catcher Kate Garbarino, infielder Lorena Alvarez, Archibold and outfielder Angelina Ferrante, all who were named to the All Bergen County team.
Alvarez was named to the All Bergen first team and was one of the best shortstops in the county. She hit .527 for the season while breaking the school record for hits in the season with 59 and had 191 hits for her career.
“She was a really consistent player,” said White. “She’s going to be a tough one to replace.”
Garbarino was important behind the plate and with the stick that included hitting .521 for the season with 57 RBI, another school record for the year. She also had seven home runs to lead the Falcons.
In her senior season Archibald was unhittable with a 18-6 record and a 1.98 earned run average with 176 strikeouts.
“She was very composed in the circle,” said White about his hurler. “She had a tremendous season.”
Ferrante was named to the All Bergen County third team. She hit .463 for the season and scored 38 runs while stealing 21 bases.
“Her job was to get on base,” added White.
With a big group of seniors graduating, White will be banking next year on junior Ashley Russo who was an All NJIC Meadowlands first team member and could have easily been part of the top three All Bergen County honors. Russo hit .412 for the season and stole 18 bases while scoring 36 runs.