A special group of Mullica Hill girls made history this summer as they became the first ever Harrison Township Little League team to win a New Jersey state title.
The 11-12 year old Harrison Little League Softball team began their journey by capturing the District 15 Championship. Their year-round hard work and dedication paid off as they then went on to win the Section 4 Title, qualifying them for a spot in the State Tournament in Clifton, NJ.
This same group of girls had made it to the 2013 State Tournament as 9&10 year olds where they placed second. At that time, that was a first for Harrison Township, but they were beaten decisively. This time they were more determined than ever to come home with a victory.
“Every single one of those girls at that point decided that we had two years to work hard to close that gap,” recalls the girls’ coach, Jim Woolam. “It would have been very easy to be content being the second best team in NJ, but not for this group. No way. They were driven to be the best.”
The team came from behind in the final inning to clinch the State Championship, making them the first softball or baseball team in any age group or division in the 27 year history of Harrison Township Little League to claim such an accomplishment.
“We were down 3-1 going into the last inning and we had one runner on base with two outs,” explained Coach W0olam. “We had our backs against the wall and all of the momentum was with the other team. However, these Harrison girls were way too determined and too resilient to just go down easy.”
The girls ended up drawing a walk, followed by another run and a walk-off two run single to win the title by a final score of 3-2. Undefeated in all three tournaments, they had an aggregate score of 83 against just 13 from their opponents!
So what kind of girls can accomplish something like this? Girls who are not only extremely talented but are willing to work hard, practicing and playing 5-6 nights per week. Girls who have a strong desire to win and a laser-like focus on their goal. Girls who are tight knit, rally around their team and genuinely care about each other. Those girls are:
- Beth Brooks
- Emileigh Cloak
- Meghan Decker
- Devon Ellixson
- Sarah McGrath
- Brooke Pecorilli
- Jenna Patterson
- McKayla Reilly
- Isabella Santiago
- Madison Vallone
- Emily Wampler
“When you take talent, add in an unbelievable level of commitment along with a strong focus on their goal…that’s a hard combination to beat!” says Coach Woolam.
Congratulations to all of the players and their super-proud coach on this amazing accomplishment!!!