EGG HARBOR-- The softball field at Egg Harbor Township has been compared to Disney World.
But the comparison might not even be worthy of the Eagles, some would argue they’ve outdone any magic even Walt Disney himself could conjure up.
The team that never quits and always finds a way to win advanced to the South Jersey Group 4 final on Friday with a 3-2 win over Washington Township in eight innings.
“I’m so excited we get to be back here on our home field again,” Egg Harbor senior Ella Glenn said. “Our one coach says this place feels like DIsney World and it’s awesome having so many fans out here today. I can’t wait for next week.”
Glenn scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to right center off the bat of freshman Kaitlyn Riggs.
“Once I was on third with Riggs up to bat, there was a lot of anxiety because I was like, 'I have to score',” Glenn said. “(Coach) Dunlap was talking to me and told me if it’s on the ground, you’re going and if it’s the air, you’re tagging up. It helps settle me down to help remember all the basics because that’s what it came down to.”
Riggs was feeling a little more at ease than her teammate on third base, and she just focused on putting the ball in play.
“I got up to bat and I just told myself that I have to hit the ball and I have to get it to the outfield,”Riggs said. “I have to just score Ella and anything will work as long as I hit the ball, put it in play and do something with it.”
“It just had to be one play one hit and one inning better than the other team and we ended up on top,” Glenn said.
The play of Riggs, who also contributed the game-tying RBI single in the sixth inning, has astounded her elder teammates.
“She’s incredible,” Glenn said. “She feels less pressure than me and I’m a senior who’s been through many of these games before. She comes in and she’s super calm and she’s able to handle herself and I’m so proud of her.”
But for as much as Riggs did individually, she credited the team first for making it back to the sectional final.
“It felt really great, but I couldn’t have done it without the team,” Riggs said. “We battled through it, kept together and made big time plays. We did it as a team. It wasn’t just one person. We fought through some tough calls, but we still persevered.”
The Eagles will take on Rancocas Valley in Tuesday’s sectional final in a bid to repeat as champions and keep an undefeated season alive.
Given how magical the last few playoff games, including Friday, have gone, the Eagles will wave their wand and create a little more magic on the diamond even Disney himself would be envious of.