SOMERDALE-- Audubon hasn’t yielding a run to a team from New Jersey this season.
The Green Wave are on one of the hottest streaks in the state, as they’ve shut out six straight New Jersey opponents and scored 81 runs in that span which includes Thursday's 10-0 win over Sterling.
Audubon credits a tough start to the season against quality opposition in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as the catalyst for their seven-game winning streak that includes a victory from its final game in South Carolina.
“I think that going to Myrtle Beach was an important thing for our team,” Audubon head coach Erin Small said. “We saw some really good competition early on. They knew that they needed to come back to Jersey and work a little bit harder and we have been working really hard to improve every day.”
“South Carolina we kind of started off slow so when we got back, our last game there we played well, we just tried to carry that over and it’s worked well so far,” Audubon senior pitcher Sam McErlane said.
The Green Wave received contributions from up and down the lineup, starting with freshman Maeve Lougheed, who doubled in the first and second innings, the second of which brought in two runs.
“At first, I was a little nervous but after our first game I felt comfortable,” Lougheed said. “We do a lot of hitting at practice. I think that plays a part of it and we hit a lot off each other. When one person is doing good, it fuels the next batters.”
“We started off with a leadoff double, that’s huge, and she’s only a freshman,” Small said. “We feed off of the hitting and once we get going they continue.”
Audubon’s seven-run second inning that included two RBI hits from Lougheed, Mackenzie Greenwood and Olivia Malinowski.
The massive lead let McErlane settle in in the circle, as she conceded one hit to a difficult Sterling team, one that always gets the Green Wave’s best performance.
“We definitely weren’t expecting to blow them out 10-0,” McErlane said. “The teams we’ve played so far we pretty much blew them all out. We couldn’t come into this game with a big head. This is going to be our test.”
“Back in my sophomore year two years ago we lost to them in the semifinals and that was really rough on us because we were up 5-1. Every time we come out we know they’re tough competitors and bring out everything we have when we play them.”
The top motivating factor for Audubon is a return to the South Jersey Group 1 final which it lost to Buena a year ago.
With a ton of confidence under their belts, it’s hard to blame the Green Wave for shooting high when it comes to their goals.
“Our core group of girls are seniors so I think we’re very fired up from the loss last year to Buena,” McErlane said. “We’re ready to win something. Every year we’ve went far in the playoffs and this year we’re going all the way.”