Dirty Dozen End Season As League Champs
● By Anonymous
It was an amazing season for the 2013 MPHS Softball Team. The team of 12 girls — dubbed the "Dirty Dozen" by hitting coach Dan Bryan — finished out the year 25-3, made it to the elite 8 in the county tournament and took the Patriot League title for the second year in a row, under the direction of head coach Ali Bryan.
Half of the team made First Team All League: Pitcher Katie Kontos, Catcher Michelle Passero, First Base Tori Bell, Pitcher Katie Lelinho, Shortstop Amanda Parker and Centerfielder Gabby Spatucci. The team is losing its three co-captains — Passero, Spatucci and Bell — to graduation.
The team's three losses include an early game to Park Ridge, Mahwah in the county tournament and Sussex Tech in the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Here's a look back at the season, courtesy of the Boosters:
April started the season quite impressively, with pitchers Katie Kontos and Katie Lelinho recording three shutouts in the first six games and four straight wins against Waldwick, Cresskill, Bogota and Palisades Park.
The Cresskill game featured RBIs from Spatucci and Parker, who also had RBIs against Bogota along with Julia Obssuth, with the Lady Panthers winning 6-1. At Palisade Park, Katie Lelinho recorded her first shutout of the season while Bell chalked up three RBIs.
A 4-2 loss to Park Ridge briefly slowed the momentum, but the girls cam back strong against Old Tappan, winning 5-4 in an 11 inning match. Leadoff hitter Passero had three hits against Old Tappan, and Brianna Lelinho clubbed a long double, while Obssuth made two key plays at second base in the 10th inning. The star of the game, however, was Kontos who pitched all 11 innings and hit a mammoth 3 run homer in the 11th inning to bring home the win.
Number 21 Ranking
By mid-April the team was ranked number 21, and began a winning streak that would last more than a month. On April 15, they defeated Saddle River Day 17-0 to improve to 6-1 in a a game where every player either had a hit or an RBI. Katie Lelinho pitched a perfect game in the 5-inning victory and was 3 for 4 at bat. Obssuth added a 2-RBI Double and finished the game with 3 RBIs. Abbie Wostbrock, Passero, Brianna Lelinho and Parker added RBIs a piece.
On April 16 the Panthers beat Hawthorne Christian 8-2 to improve to 7-1. Kontos struck out 15 batters while the Panthers were paced by Bell, Spatucci and Parker, all of whom had 2 hits and an RBI. Passero and Carey added RBI singles for the Panthers.
On April 17, the Panthers improved to 8-1 with a 10-0 win over Emerson. Katie Lelinho spun a two-hit shutout while striking out four and helped her own cause with an RBI single. Bell had a triple and a single to go along with 2 RBIs and Spatucci had two hits and added an RBI. Kontos had 3RBIs on a long double, while Passero and Carey contributed RBI singles in the game as well.
On April 19 the Panthers hosted #11 Ranked New Milford in an independent game. After trailing 5-1 going into the bottom of the 4th the Panthers struck for 7 runs in the inning to regain the lead that they would never relinquish. In the end the Panthers walked away with a 9-6 win, improving their record to 9-1, with Kontos the winning pitcher. Bell had 3RBIs while Parker and Katie Lelinho chipped in two RBIs each. Kontos and Carey added RBI Singles as well.
On Saturday, April 20 the Panthers capped off a busy week with a 4-0 victory over Leonia. Katie Lelinho threw a 7-hit shutout and struck out three as the panthers ended week 5-0 and improved to 10-1. Spatucci had an RBI single while Passero, Parker, Brianna Lelinho and Kontos all added one hit apiece.
Dirty Dozen Ranked 12th
On April 22, the number 12 ranked Panthers opened the week with a 19-0 four-inning victory over Saddle River Day. Katie Lelinho pitched a perfect game for the panthers and improved to 6-0 on the season. Passero led the way for the Panthers with 4 hits. Kontos clubbed a long 3-run homer to left center field while Brianna Lelinho had 2 RBIs, one being on a long triple down the left field line. Spatucci added 2 RBIs and Parker, Katie Lelinho, Carey and Rebecca Heade all pitched in with 1 RBI .
On April 23, the Panthers traveled to Bergenfield for the Autism Tournament, where they continued to play strong despite the 48 degree weather. The Panthers scored a good quality win 7-1 over Dumont, a good large Group 2 Team. Kontos continued her dominance on the mound with a 10 Strikeout 4-hit performance. At the plate, Kontos delivered the big blow with a huge 2 RBI double in the 3rd inning to put the Panthers ahead for good 2-1. Bell added two hits and two RBIs including a long double that scored Passero from first base. Parker added an RBI double while Gaby Spatucci added an RBI Single and Brianna Lelinho picked up an RBI on a bases loaded walk. The win improved the Panthers season record to 12-1.
On April 26, the Panthers defeated Cresskill 13-3, bringing the record up to 13-1. Kontos pitched 5 innings of perfect relief to boost the Panthers who were trailing 3-1 after the 1st inning. Kontos also aided the cause by adding a 2 RBI Single. Brianna Lelinho had 3 hits including 2 doubles and 2 RBIS. Bell added 2 hits including a long solo Home Run while Spatucci added 3 RBI's on a pair of singles. Passero and Obssuth chipped in two hits apiece while Amanda Parker had two RBI's and Abbie Wostbrock added an RBI single as well.
On Sunday, April 28 the 12th seeded Panthers traveled to Saddle Brook to take on number 8 seeded Ramsey in the HOFs Classic. Kontos pitched a complete game shutout as the Panthers beat Ramsey 3-0. Bell, Passero and Kontos each had RBI doubles to break open a scoreless game. Carey added a single and a double for the winners.
The Dozen's Dozen Streak
The girls started out May with a 12-game winning streak after beating Palisades Park 10-1 on May 1. Katie Lelinho threw a two-hit shutout as the Panthers won their 12th game in a row and improved to 16-1 on the season. Passero and Amanda Parker each had two hits, and Katie Lelinho and Julie Carey each had two RBI's for the winners. Bell added two singles and an RBI and Katie Kontos had an RBI Single to go along with three walks.
County Tourney Round 1
On May 4, the Panthers hosted Wood-Ridge in the Bergen County Tournament. The 5th seeded Panthers prevailed 4-2 in an exciting game. After spotting Wood-Ridge two unearned runs in the first inning, the Panthers went to work in the third inning. Bell, who went 4-4 in the game, singled in the first run to cut the deficit to 2-1. Kontos, who pitched a two-hitter, hit a long home run off the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th to tie the game.
The Panthers added one run in the fifth inning and added another run in the sixth on an RBI single by Bell. Besides Bell's four hits which included a long double to left field, the Panthers were led by Spatucci who had two timely bunt singles, and Passero, Parker, and Julia Obssuth who pitched in with one hit a piece. After the game, the girls were given "Dirty Dozen" T-Shirts by the MP Softball Association.
Redemption Over Park Ridge
On May 6, the sixth-seeded Panthers hosted Park Ridge, the team that handed them their first, and at that time only, loss of the season. The girls came out on fire and cruised to an 11-0 fifth inning victory with Sophmore Kontos pitching a no hitter. The big blow for Park Ridge was a 3-run homer off Bell's bat. Passero was a perfect 3-3 and scored 3 runs. Brianna Lelinho added a double and an RBI and Carey had an RBI single to pace the Panthers. Obssuth scored two runs for the winners. With the win the Panthers improved to 18-1 and are riding a 14 game winning streak. The Panthers improved their first place lead over Park Ridge to two games.
Winning Streak Goes On
On May 10, the Panthers improved to 19-1 with a 10-0 win over Waldwick. Katie Lelinho pitched a two-hit shutout and was on base three times with a pair of singles and a walk. The Dirty Dozen were paced by Amanda Parker's 3 hits including 2 doubles and 3 RBIs. Kontos added 3 RBIs including a double and a long 2-run homer that easily cleared the left field fence at Veteran's Field. Bell add a 2 RBI double and Carey added an RBI single for the winners.
20 Win Season
On May 11, the girls increased their winning streak to 16 games and became one of four teams in Bergen County to achieve a 20 win season (20-1) with an impressive 2-1 victory over Group 3 Paramus. Kontos was pitch perfect through 5 innings and ended up with a two-hitter. Brianna Lelinho had the big blow of the game with a 2 out 2 RBI double in the right centerfield gap to put the Panthers ahead 2-0 in the Bottom of the 6th. Spatucci, who mad a sliding catch in centerfield in the first inning, paced the Panthers with 3 hits. Parker and Passero added singles as well as the Panthers out hit the Spartans 7-2.
12-0 Win Over HCA
On May 13, the Panthers extended their winning streak to 17 games with a 12-0 win over Hawthorne Christian. The 21-1 Panthers were led by Katie Lelinho who tossed a 4-hitter and aided her own cause with 2 RBI. Brianna Lelinho finished the day 3-3 with a Double and 3 RBIs. Spatucci added 3 hits while Kontos had 2 hits scored 4 runs and added 2 RBIs, and Carey added 2 hits including a double. Obssuth added an RBI single and Bell added a single to go along with 2 walks and scored 2 runs.
Senior Night: 9-0
On May 14, the Lady Panthers celebrated Senior night in honor of their three graduating seniors Bell, Spatucci and Passero. The Dirty Dozen defeated St. Mary's 9-0 in the first night game of the year and improved to 22-1. The girls were led by Kontos, who lost her perfect game in the 7th inning but finished with a 1 hit shutout with 14 strikeouts. At the plate Kontos added two hits a walk and 2 RBI's. Brianna Lelinho added two hits and two RBIs and her sister Katie Lelinho added two hits and an RBI. Spatucci and Carey added RBIs as well, and Parker tripled, bringing the winning streak to 18 in a row.
On May 16, the girls traveled to Lyndhurst to take on the #19 ranked Golden Bears a Group 2 power in an independent game. In a close game, the Panthers who broke out to a 5-1, held off a late rally from Lyndhurst and won 6-5. Winning pitcher Kontos helped her own cause with an RBI Double in the first inning to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. Parker blasted a solo homerun and added a single, a Sac Fly and 2 RBIs. Bell had an RBI Triple and a Sac Fly as well to finish with 2 RBIs. Spatucci added 2 perfect bunt singles for the winners as well. The win improved the Panthers to 23-1 on the season, with a 19 game winning streak.
On May 18, the Dirty Dozen's streak came to an end in a heartbreaking 5-1 loss to Mahwah. The Panthers could only muster up five hits against a surging Mahwah team. Spatucci and Carey each had a double while Passero, Briana Lelinho and Kontos each had one hit apiece.
On May 21 took out the Emerson Cavaliers 10-2 earning the season title of Patriot League Champions for the second year in a row.
On May 22, the number 2 seed Panthers scored another 5-inning shut out beating Wood-Ridge 10-0 at home in the first round of the Group 1 Section 1 State Tournament. Sophomore Katie Kontos continued her dominance on the mound firing a 3 hit shutout. The Panthers who banged out 9 hits in 5 innings were paced by Junior Amanda Parker and Sophomore Brianna Lelinho who both had 3 RBI's. Senior Michelle Passero (RBI) and Senior Gaby Spatucci (RBI) added 2 hits each while Senior Tori Bell (RBI), Junior Katie Lelinho (RBI) and Freshman Julie Carey all pitched in with 1 hit.
The 2013 season came to an end on May 26, with a heart breaking 3-2 loss to Sussex Tech, in a game that was rained out twice before finally going ahead. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead 2-0 but that would be the last they would score. Sussex Tech had the big hit — a 3 run homer — that proved to be the game winner as the Mustangs held on to win 3-2. The Panthers only managed 2 hits in the loss, which ended the season for the Panthers.
The team ended the season 25-3 which included a league championship and a trip to the quarterfinals in both the state and county tournament. The Panthers would like to thank the generous support of fans that showed up during the season to cheer the girls on.
Game updates were supplied by Boosters Parent Tom Carey.
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