Even though the Princeton High softball team fell behind Hamilton 6-0 last Friday, Jessica Campisi was confident that PHS could get back into the game.
“Over the course of the next few innings we really got used to the pitcher,” said senior tri-captain and shortstop Campisi.
“We started putting together a rally of hitting, which we always do against this school.”
Sure enough, the Little Tigers scored unanswered six runs to knot the game at 6-6 with Campisi contributing an RBI.
But the Hornets responded with five straight runs to take an 11-6 lead. Once again the Little Tigers clawed back, rallying to tie the game at 11-11 heading into the last inning. Campisi delivered a big blow in the comeback, smacking a two-run double in the fifth inning as PHS cut into the deficit to 11-10 at that point.
“I was getting ready to bat and I was ready to let it go,” recalled Campisi.
“One of my teammates Genna [Garlock] was saying you can’t rely on superstition, you are a good hitter and I went out and hit the double.”
While PHS went on to lose 16-11, Campisi believes the Little Tigers are headed in the right direction.
“I think as we have more games, we are getting better,” said Campisi. “I think we are learning to adjust more to pitchers. Yesterday we had a moderate pitcher, today she was a little faster but we are pulling together.”
Campisi is assuming extra responsibility to bring PHS together as she is the lone senior captain, leading the team along with junior tri-captain Sarah Eisenach and sophomore tri-captain Kelli Swedish.
“I have been on the team the longest but we all sort of have different roles as captain,” said Campisi.
“I definitely feel I have a strong role as a senior captain. I would hope to be a role model for them.”
Having played some stints in the outfield this season, Campisi was happy to be in the infield for the Hamilton game.
“Moving back to shortstop, I felt a little more comfortable,” said Campisi.
“I feel like I can help more with a leadership position, there is an issue with lack of talking in the infield.”
While PHS head coach Dave Boehm liked the way his team never stopped battling against Hamilton, he was disappointed with its defensive sloppiness in crunch time.
“We fought back but we gave them six outs in the last inning,” said Boehm. “We threw it back over the pitcher’s head, we did that twice. We have moved people around but we just had bad throws.”
Coming into the afternoon, Boehm was anticipating a topsy-turvy contest. “This is one of those games, it is a division game like Hightstown, you never know who is going to come out on top,” said Boehm, whose team fell 9-2 to Steinert on Saturday to drop to 2-4 and is slated to host WW/P-S on April 21. “It is not going to be a pretty game and it lived up to the billing today.”
Campisi, for her part, acknowledges that PHS needs to be sharper in the field.
“We had a team meeting after the Robbinsville game and one of the things I think is huge for us is to have more effective practices,” said Campisi.
“We need to be doing more drills during practice where we need to be cleaner and faster. We need to do more situations rather than hitting balls straight to us.”