WOOLWICH TWP.-- There will be a new champion in South Jersey Group 4 softball.
Kingsway knocked off two-time defending champion Egg Harbor Township 4-0 in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday.
Sydney Maroney went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and Cat Knoll solidified the victory with a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth.
“We were texting in our group chat last night and we were excited today,” Knoll said. “We were spreading love and saying we have nothing to lose. We know they’re a great team, but we know we are too. If we go head-to-head with them we can win anything.”
Knoll was put in the position to succeed by way of an intentional walk to Maroney to put runners on first and second.
As Maroney stood on first, she had full confidence in Knoll getting the job done.
“I had all my confidence in Cat and I knew she was due for a hit in this game,” Maroney said. “I knew it was going to happen.”
“I don’t know why they intentionally walk (Maroney) more,” Knoll said. “She’s a great hitter and I was so excited because I looked at it as more runs I could score. I knew when we had two runners on base, I knew if I hit that ball we’d win the game so I was excited they put me in that position.”
The two-run hit from Knoll added to the run that scored on an error in the first and Maroney’s RBI double in the second.
“I think coming out we all had butterflies in our stomach,” Maroney said. “It was good to get that early lead and it made us less stressed.”
The four-run advantage heading into the final inning handed the Dragons the final boost of confidence necessary to finish off the Eagles.
“I think as soon as we had those runs in, I think we had it,” Knoll said. “We came into the last inning ready to shut them down.”
Kingsway felt comfortable in the field throughout the contest, as Danielle Dominik kept EHT off balance with 11 strikeouts.
“(Dominik) was amazing,” Knoll said. “That’s a hard team and we were ready for them to pound the ball everywhere. I was just so proud of her that she shut them down like that.”
Next up for the Dragons is a meeting with top-seeded Vineland which defeated Shawnee on Wednesday.
“It’s so exciting,” Knoll said. “We were in the semis freshman year and lost to Township so now we’re in it and we beat Township and the champions from last year, we’re so excited. I think we can do it.”