By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
Friday afternoon the Purple Roses of St. Rose High School were in Long Branch to face the Lady Green Wave in a Shore Conference B Central divisional match-up. It didn’t go the way Long Branch was hoping, as they lost 23-6.
The 2023 season started off with back-to-back wins for the Lady Wave. They beat Lakewood 18-13 on April 4, and then two days later beat them again 17-3. Point Beach then had back-to-back wins over Long Branch with an 18-2 win on April 10, and then two days later 16-6 victory.
Within the B Central division of the Shore Conference, the Purple Roses were winless in their first five games and outscored 90-46. Long Branch head coach Shawn O’Neill (no relation to this author) had high expectations for his squad. “We have been playing well and the girls have been hitting,” said O’Neill.
However, after the top half of the first inning, St. Rose had a 10-0 lead. That is very difficult to make up, but the Waves were not giving up. “We kept making little mistakes in the top of the inning, and those little errors turned into a lot of runs for St. Rose,” O’Neill said.
The coach added that they were missing their shortstop and first baseman. “Playing first for the very first time is Mia Popo and taking over short is Tiffany Torres,” said O’Neill. Both girls did a great job filling in on short notice.
Long Branch was able to plate three runs in the bottom of the first. But they allowed St. Rose to add seven more to their total in the top of the second, five more in the top of the third and one in the fourth for a grand total of 23 on 15 hits.
Lady Wave scored two runs in the bottom of the third and one in the fourth. The game was official after the fourth inning. Marian Moore took the win for the Purple Roses, their first of the season.
In the circle for Long Branch was Grace Mehlhorn-Marshall. “Grace has been doing a good job, she just couldn’t find the zone today,” O’Neill said. The loss drops Long Branch to 2-3 on the season. To view the Lady Wave schedule please visit: https://highschoolsports.nj.com/school/long-branch-long-branch/softball/season/2022-2023
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