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Westfield Softball League

Mattress Factory Gives The Crossroads the Blues, 13-5


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

The Mattress Factory unleashed four home runs, which included two three-run homers, and a devastating six run second inning to turn the Crossroads in the wrong direction in the Westfield Men’s Softball League action at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 15. The Mattress Factory manufactured a huge lead and finally put the Crossroads to rest, 13-5.

The Mattress Factory sprung into action immediately when leadoff hitter Chuck Mueller crushed a home run over the center fielder’s head. Although the next batter, Scott Johnson banged a single to left, Crossroads third baseman Mike Emery fielded a grounder, flicked the ball to second baseman Ralph Notarmaso who, in turn, tossed it to first baseman Chris Curty for a double play. The Crossroads got out of the inning after the next batter lined to first.

In the bottom of the first, Billy Beehner of the Crossroads led off with a walk. Chris Love stepped to the plate and blasted a shot to deep left; however, Mueller made a spectacular catch to turn a potential home run into a very long out. Beehner tagged up and moved to second on the play, then later scored the tying run on an error.

Inning number two started with a bang. Chris Masterson launched a SCUD to the next softball field to rack up another homer for the Mattress Factory. Kevin Zipler got on base on an error and rounded the bases when Rick Shovolin singled and gained second on the throw to the plate.

In fear of seeing another home run, Crossroads pitcher Neil Kemler intentionally walked Mueller, putting runners on first and second; however, his strategy collapsed when Johnson thumped a three-run homer to deep center to make the score 6-1.

Still in the second inning, former Westfield High School All-State baseball player Clint Factor ripped the first of his three hits to center. Ron Shovolin was intentionally walked, then Masterson punched a single to drive in Factor but was thrown out trying to stretch the single to a double.

The Mattress Factory added a run in the fourth upping the lead to 8-1. Mueller slapped a single to right, Factor poked a single to left, Ron Shovolin received the third intentional walk of the game to load the bases for Masterson who connected for a long sacrifice fly to left for the second out. Mueller scored on the tag up but Factor, who attempted to score from second, was thrown out at the plate.

The Crossroads threatened in the bottom of the fourth when Kemler looped a single over first, Roger Love reached first on an error and Tom Pilino drew a base-on-balls to load the bases. With two outs, Chris Love blasted his second long bomb to left, only to witness another great catch by Mueller.

Two more runs were chalked up by the Mattress Factory in the sixth. Mueller singled to right-center but became the victim of a fielder’s choice when Crossroad’s second baseman Notarmaso made a great stab of a hot grounder off the bat of Johnson and forced Mueller at second. Factor drilled a single to left, then Ron Shovolin ripped a double to right, scoring Johnson and Factor but was called out while sliding into third.

In the seventh inning, the score was boosted to 13-2 when the Mattress Factory erupted for three runs. With two outs, Kevin Zipler thrashed a single to right-center, Rick Shovolin lined a single to center, then Gary Nikorak exploded a three-run bomb to deep center.

Down to their last chance, the Crossroads needed to jazz up their offense to raise themselves up from the dumps. With one out, Curty bounced the ball by the second baseman, Keith Blue drew a walk, Emery poked a single to left, then a mistimed pick-off attempt at second allowed Curty and Blue to score. Chuck Dashielle walked and Kemler made it to first safely, scoring Emery for the final run of the game.

Both Mueller and Factor had three hits for the Mattress Factory which lifted its record to 11-7 while the Crossroads slid to 4-16.


(As of July 20)


Checchio Chiropractic 15 6

Greco Steam Cleaning 15 6

Mattress Factory 14 7

Gamblers 14 7

Jolly Trolley 10 11

Nuclear Chickens 9 12

Black Crackers 5 16

Crossroads 5 16

THE POWER SWING…Ron Shovolin of the Mattress Factory takes a mighty swing and drills a liner to the Crossroads’ first baseman in the first inning of a Westfield Men’s Softball League game at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 15. The Mattress Factory sprung into action and threw the Crossroads off the trail by defeating them, 13-5.

THE HOME RUN…Chris Masterson of the Mattress Factory trots home after crushing a lead-off homer in the second inning to deep left which eventually rolled to the adjoining softball field.

THE RIGHT PATH…Tom Pilino of the Crossroads takes the right path to home plate; however, he was unable to score because the line-drive hit by Chris Curty was caught for the third out.

Checchio’s vs. Nuclear Chickens; Checchio’s Sticks The Label on the Chickens


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

Jack Failla’s RBI double in the top of the seventh inning gave Checchio Chiropractic the come-from-behind, 4-3, victory they needed over the Nuclear Chickens on July 16 at Tamaques Park in Westfield to keep them in contention for the first-seed position in the Westfield Men’s Softball League playoffs.

Checchio’s leadoff batter, Dondi Chambliss drew a base-on-balls, then scored the first run of the game in the first inning when Failla drilled a double to right-center. Some of the Checchio batters had trouble adjusting to the windmill style of Nuclear Chickens’ pitcher Rick Reimlinger who struck out two in the first inning.

The Nuclear Chickens came back to tie the game with one run in the bottom of the first. Rusty Myers reached first on an error and moved into scoring position after Bruce Seroff slashed a single to left field. Myers scored when Reimlinger bounced into a muffed double play attempt.

Both Reimlinger and Checchio pitcher Nancy Kasco demonstrated outstanding control throughout the first four innings with each allowing only one run. Reimlinger scattered five hits and yielded two walks as Kasko allotted only four hits and no walks.

The fuses of both teams got short in the middle of the fifth inning when the Checchio team was unsure of one of the Nuclear Chickens’ identity. The game was temporarily halted until the player in question presented proper identification. After an exchange of some mild verbal labeling of each other, the game resumed.

With their fuses gone, the Nuclear Chickens exploded for two runs in the bottom of the fifth capped by an error and three singles which included RBI singles by Pete Goitandia and Seroff.

Time was running out and Checchio’s needed to crack into the scoring column with more force. The steady Pat Brady hooked a slow-moving triple down the right field line. Jeff Kole drew a walk, then Brian Chapman punched a single to left, scoring Brady. Glenn Kehler dug in at the plate and poked a single up the middle to drive in Chapman and tie the score, 3-3.

After a run-saving, third-out catch by Kehler in left field to keep the score tied, Checchio’s came to bat in the top of the seventh. Dave Yatcilla ripped a one-out single to center, Brady bopped a grounder through the hole at second, then Failla whacked his double to drive in Yatcilla with the go-ahead run.

With their fuse gone and their ammunition spent, the Nuclear Chickens were unable to retaliate in their half of the seventh inning. Their hopes fizzled and the game ended 4-3 in favor of Checchio’s.

Checchio Chiropractic lifted its record to 14-5 which put them in a down-to-the-wire race with Greco Steam Cleaning for the first-seed position in the playoffs. Greco’s were thrown a scare by the Black Crackers on July 15 when they had to rally in the seventh inning to pull out a victory.

NOT ONLY A WRITER…But a participant. Bruce Moran, Sports Writer for The Newark Star Ledger and player for Checchio Chiropractic, prepares to thump the softball during his turn at bat. Checchio’s pulled a come-from-behind, 4-3, victory over the Nuclear Chickens of the Westfield Men’s Softball League on July 16 at Tamaques Park in Westfield.

Jolly Trolley/Gamblers; Gamblers Are Dealt Bad Hand by Trolley

The Jolly Trolley rolled with an overpowering offensive attack and held the upper hand over the Gamblers by drawing a 13-7 winning hand in an important Westfield Men’s Softball League game at Tamaques Park in Westfield on July 16.

Jeff Battiloro got things on track by crushing a devastating grand-slam home run in the fourth inning to get the spirits of the Trolley jolly. Trolley pitcher Lee Marks clanged out another victory.

The win upped the Jolly Trolley’s record to 10-11 and qualified them for the playoffs.

FOMSA League games; Power Ball Propels Hunter Over Marian Avenue., 12-5

The fences were not high enough and the field was not big enough to contain the long balls hit by the Hunter Avenue team in a Fanwood Old Men’s Softball Association (FOMSA) game against Marian Avenue on July 14 at LaGrande Park in Fanwood as Hunter Avenue tracked down Marian Avenue, 12-5.

As the playoffs near, the intensity of play steps up. With a season nearly behind them, the Hunter Avenue and Marian Avenue players’ batting and fielding skills have been finely tuned. The evening consisted not only of the long ball, but also sharp line drives, spinning infield hits, strategic bunts, full-speed running catches, glove-tip catches and diving fielding plays.

Hunter Avenue, sponsored by La Trattoria in Westfield, served notice to Marian Avenue that there was going to be some heavy scoring on their part. Mike Ewing led off the top of the first inning with a solid single down the first base line. Paul Ewing grounded a single out of the reach of the second baseman. Brian Chapman stepped to the plate and smashed a home run over the screen in left field, putting Hunter in the lead, 3-0.

Hunter Avenue staged a small assault in the second, adding another run. With one out, John Keegan tapped a single up the middle, Paul Ewing looped a single to left, then Chapman drilled a single, driving in Keegan.

The assault put Marian Avenue on alert in their half of the second. Frank Malta led off with a walk, Terry Hanratti punched a single down the third base line and Tim Nielson drew another walk to load the bases. After a pop-up to short, Dan Mondelli hooked a single to left, bringing in Malta and Hanratti and narrowing to score to 4-2.

In the third inning, Hunter Avenue fired a few more volleys at Marian Avenue, adding two runs. Dave Roth collected his second single of the evening, placing a shot down the first base line, then Phil Wein blasted a sniper shot through the fence in deep right-center field for the second homer of the game to up the lead to 6-2.

Marian Avenue fought back. Paul Arrigo led off with a walk and Seamus Dolan followed with a walk. Joe Dasti slapped a single up the middle, loading the bases with no outs. Dave Yatcilla thumped a long sacrifice fly to left-center to bring Arrigo across the plate. Gary Ruban cracked a fly to the right fielder, allowing the runners on first and second to tag up and advance. Malta bounced a bad-hopper past the first baseman, bringing in Dolan and Dasti and tightening the score to 6-5.

Now, in the top of the fourth, the battle had escalated and an ambush began with balls hopping, spinning and flying everywhere. Keegan hit a Kangaroo hopper over the third baseman’s head and Mike Ewing laid down a squib-bunt single toward first just out of the reach of Marian Avenue pitcher Bob White who made a gallant diving attempt. Paul Ewing grounded out to second and Chapman drew a base-on-balls to load the bases.

Lou Danielle banged a liner off the high screen in left field for a double, driving in Keegan and Mike Ewing. Frank Cuccaro, looking for an opening, looped a spinning double to right which brought in Chapman, making the score 9-5.

Hunter Avenue turned in two great fielding plays in the bottom of the fourth and a unique double play in the sixth. Right-center fielder Phil Wein made a running catch of a shot to deep center from Marian Avenue batter Mondelli and Keegan made a leaping stab of a liner hit by Charlie Baier. The ball hung to the tip of Keegan’s glove. The double play came from a Malta line drive which deflected off pitcher Paul Ewing and into the glove of shortstop Chapman who alertly tagged second and flicked the ball to first.

Marian Avenue turned in a few great fielding plays of their own during the fifth and sixth inning. Mondelli, playing second base, showed his range in the fifth when he pursued a pop fly from Keegan and chased it down at the right field foul line. In the sixth, first baseman Ruban made a leaping play of a liner hit by Paul Ewing, then lunged successfully at a spinning blooper which skid of the bat of Chapman.

Hunter Avenue added to its power-hitting prowess in the sixth. Just after the two great fielding plays from Ruban, Danielle stepped to the plate and launched an ICBM way over the heads of the nearest outfielders to the deepest possible spot in center. The ball was finally picked up near the backstop of the adjoining ball field and Danielle trotted home with his solo blast. The very next batter, Roth, bounced a line-drive homer over the left-center field fence, bringing the score to 11-5.

Hunter Avenue added its final run in the seventh when Kyle Bilcher took a mighty swing and dribbled a slow roller between the pitcher and first but used his awesome speed to leg out a single. Bilcher moved to third on a passed ball and a throwing error, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Kevin Ewing.

Marian Avenue slipped to 5-9 while Hunter Avenue improved to 4-8. Both teams remain in the hunt for the playoffs.


(As of July 14)


Montrose Avenue 10 - 3

Russell Road 9 - 3

Willoughby Road 8 - 4

Sun Valley 5 - 7

Shady Lane 5 - 8

Marian Avenue 5 - 9

Hunter Avenue 4 - 8

Poplar Place 4 - 8

DRILLING IT TO LEFT…Danny Mondelli, No. 22, of the Marian Avenue team rips a two-run single to left field, out of the reach of Hunter Avenue third baseman Lou Danielle during a FOMSA game at LaGrande Park in Fanwood on July 14. Mondelli’s teammate Frank Malta, on third, is the first to score. Hunter Avenue beat Marian Avenue, 12-5.

THE SCORE…Frank Malta of the Marian team trots home after the single by Mondelli in the second inning. Terry Hanratti rounds third to score the second run.

COMING HOME…John Keegan of the Hunter Avenue team scampers home in the second inning to score their fourth run of the game against Marian Avenue.

JCC Standings and games


(As of July 13)


C.B.I. 8 - 0

Old Stars 7 - 2

Marauders 7 - 2

Sour Grapes 5 - 4

Orange 3 - 5

White 3 - 6

Club 40: 0 - 9

St. Bart’s Old Timer’s Softball League


(As of July 3)



St. Joseph 7 - 3

St. Paul 6 - 3

St. Peter 6 - 5

St. Patrick 4 - 7

St. Anne 3 - 8



St. Thomas 10 - 1

St. Jude 6 - 4

St. Louis 5 - 6

St. Michael 5 - 6

St. Lawrence 0 - 9

Jersey Stars Remain on Top Woman’s
Under-23 Soccer


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

The Central Jersey Stars gained control of first place in the Women’s Under-23 Soccer League after defeating Toms River at Houlihan Field in Westfield on July 13 and Old Bridge on July 20 at Old Bridge. The Central Jersey Stars soundly out-kicked Toms River, 6-0, and rolled over Old Bridge, 4-1, to improve their record to 4-1.

The league consists of five highly competitive teams from the metropolitan area. Many of the most talented women soccer players in the nation are on the league roster.

Women from high schools such as; Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Westfield, Millburn, West Morris, Randolph, Watchung Hills and Union Catholic make up the roster of the Central Jersey Stars The majority of the women are graduates who will be or already are competing on major college soccer programs.

There are nine local women who play for the Stars: Ann Keegan, Natasha Vasavada and Elizabeth Frame from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School; Yvette Broderick from Union Catholic Regional; Susan McCloy, Jessica Czar, Brooke Wiley, Megan Sheehy and Amy Coccaro from Westfield High School.

Coccaro along with Lauren Jarecki are the only present high school students who compete on the team. The following either attend or will attend the colleges listed: Keegan, St. Bonaventure in Olean, New York; Vasavada, Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; Broderick, Eastern Connecticut State College in Willimantic; Frame and Sheehy, West Virginia University in Morgantown; McCloy, University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Czar, Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and Wiley, Connecticut College in New London.

Keith S. Hertell from Westfield is the coach of the Central Jersey Stars. Hertell, originally from Garden City, Long Island, has been coaching soccer for 31 years. Hertell started coaching soccer in Westfield in 1972.

On August 10, at Mercer County Park, an All-Star team comprised of three players from each of the five teams of the Women’s Under-23 Soccer League will compete against either the New Jersey Wildcats or the New Jersey Splash professional women’s soccer team. The All-Star head coach will from the first place team in the league.

The Central Jersey Stars have three remaining games and will play Toms River under the lights at 8:30 p.m. in Toms River on July 25.

Hills Soccer Camp; Hills to Hold Two Soccer Camps

Hills Soccer Camps, in its 17th year has scheduled two exciting weeks this summer at Tamaques School in Westfield. All camps have been scheduled to run from Mondays through Fridays, July 28 - August 1. Half and full day sessions are available.

The program utilizes innovative practices to develop children’s technical and tactical skills, improving and developing them as soccer players.

The Camps are for boys and girls ages 4-14, and includes programs for beginners, intermediate, travel and select players. All participants will be organized into teams and will be given the opportunity to experience all positions. Goalkeeping programs will be offered at the location.

Hills Soccer Camps’ coaching staff are both female and male, and are recruited from the top teacher and physical education colleges throughout England and the United States.

For further information concerning the programs, please call Joe LaSpada at (908) 537-7248.

Westfield Men’s Softball Association:

Checchio’s Grabs Number 1 Seed In WMSL Playoff

It took the final game of the regular season to determine which team would gain the first seed in the Westfield Men’s Softball League playoffs which began on July 22. On July 20 at Tamaques Park in Westfield, Checchio Chiropractic defeated Greco’s Steam Cleaning, 12-2, to capture the first-seed.

Both Checchio’s and Greco’s finished with 15-6 records; however, Checchio’s got the nod by virtue of winning the most face-to-face confrontations. Greco’s got the second-seed.

Checchio’s will play the winner in the best-of-three series between the fifth-seeded Jolly Trolley and the fourth-seeded Gamblers. Greco’s will play the third-seeded Mattress Factory.

Copyright 1997
TheWestfield Leader.
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