By Sandy Seegers
HANOVER _ Whippany Park softball coach Todd Callaghan doesn’t feel the need to distinguish between his two pitchers.
As far as Callaghan is concerned, he has two frontline hurlers – the ultimate luxury for a team determined to make noise in conference, county and state play this season.
On Monday, sophomore right-hander Jenn Sanislo was called upon and pitched a perfect game, striking out 10, to highlight the Wildcats’ 11-0 victory over Mountain Lakes.
“It’s comforting to have a pitcher of Jenn’s quality,” Callaghan said. “It’s really nice to have her. I feel like I have two No. 1s. They’re both that good.”
Sanislo was terrific versus the Lakers, blowing through the batting order. Her best pitch was a riser that was responsible for sending batter after batter back to the dugout.
She wore a satisfied smile but was subdued after the win, which sent Whippany Park’s record to 5-0. Sanislo didn’t seem to care much about her personal accomplishment. Instead, she reveled in what the team achieved.
“Mountain Lakes is our rival so this is exciting,” Sanislo said.
She said she had to “stay focused” in order to be successful in the five-inning game.
Brianna Cetrulo, the Wildcats’ catcher, had the best view of Sanislo’s perfect game. All Cetrulo had to do was call for a pitch and Sanislo delivered.
“Jenn’s riser was breaking well,” Cetrulo said. “She was hitting spots with speed.”
Whippany Park came through with an impressive offensive showing as well, stroking 10 hits, four for extra bases. The Wildcats, the defending North Jersey Section 2, Group I champions, have outscored their opponents 58-1 this spring.
Courtney Simon and Casey Reggiani bouyed Whippany Park’s attack with two RBIs apiece. Sanislo and Ashley Belott had two hits each.
Taylor Trifiolis doubled to get the Wildcats going in the first inning. Carly Bartholomew tripled off the fence in right-center field to drive her in. Reggiani, a senior pitcher/left fielder, had a RBI groundout for 2-0.
In the four-run second inning, two runs scored on an error and Reggiani had a RBI base hit. Whippany Park stretched its advantage to 10-0 with another four-run outburst in the third inning. Hannah Mucerino and Trifiolis had RBI singles and Courtney Simon slugged a two-run triple to center field.
Bartholomew has been reliable as the Wildcats’ No. 3 batter but only after toiling to improve.
“I wasn’t really happy with my hitting compared to previous years,” Bartholomew said. “I was being overanxious. I went to the basics. I started from scratch.”
The Lakers (1-7) were playing without center fielder and cleanup batter Erika Cowan, who was on a college visit. Mountain Lakes coach Angel Concepcion would’ve liked to have had Cowan but he didn’t use her absence as an excuse.
Alyssa Shmanske and Kelly Breslauer, two of the Lakers’ stronger hitters, couldn’t break through against Sanislo.
“Our record doesn’t speak for the quality of team I have,” Concepcion said. “Things just haven’t clicked. We haven’t made plays when we needed to. Then, when we’ve made the plays, we’ve lacked hitting.”
Callaghan likes that his squad, with seven starters back, has picked up where it left off. Ever since claiming the sectional title, his players have been eager to get back on the field.
“The way we’ve been winning is the exciting part,” Callaghan said. “We’ve been dominating in all aspects. Allowing one run is impressive.”
When last season ended, the Wildcats kept talking. The discussion centered around making this campaign even better. If there was one regret in 2010, it was losing, 3-1, to Wood-Ridge in a Group I semifinal.
“The girls are excited,” Callaghan said. “They came back with more dedication and determination.”
“I feel like we came back on top, just the way last year ended,” Bartholomew said. “It was like there was no break.”
Concepcion put Whippany Park in a class with Morris County’s top two teams.
“I believe Whippany Park is up near the top with Pequannock and Morris Knolls,” he said. “I think they can battle with them.”