WASHINGTON TWP. — On most Fridays in the summer people from the region head east on the Atlantic City Expressway to enjoy a weekend at the Jersey shore.
On this particular Friday, Atlantic City High School's softball team headed west to face off against Washington Township in the South Jersey Group 4 sectional final.
Atlantic City, the No. 16 seed in S.J. Group 4, brought a support group of over 100 people to Gloucester County but the Vikings had a tough task against the No. 2 seed Township. But the Cinderella Vikings' bats were no match for Township pitcher Jenna Mills, who tossed a complete-game shutout and allowed only four hits while striking out five.
With the game scoreless, Washington Township (23-4) got on the scoreboard its third at-bat and never looked back, adding two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.
"We played well and got behind our pitcher. They hit the ball but we made a lot of good plays in the field'" said junior shortstop and lead-off hitter Jessica Hughes.
Junior KelliAnne Gaffney started Township's scoring going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs. Hughes also went 2-for-3, scored twice and stole two bases. Hughes, who eclipsed 100 hits earlier this season, continued to be a force at the plate for Washington Township.
Township advances to Tuesday's state semifinal (4 p.m. at New Egypt) where the Minutemaids will face Hillsborough, a 6-4 winner over East Brunswick in Friday's Central Jersey Group 4 title game.
Atlantic City reeled off three straight road upsets to get to the title game and after starting the season at 5-10, the Vikings won eight of their last 11 games to finish the year with a .500 record at 13-13.