GLOUCESTER CITY (N.J) - The Audubon High School softball team earned a convincing win over No. 11-ranked St. Joseph on Opening Day and set its sights on Colonial Conference rival Gloucester.
Audubon's Alyson Yurcaba swings at a pitch in a game against Gloucester at William "Hawker" James Memorial Sports Complex in Gloucester City, New Jersey on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network
Audubon, ranked seventh in the Baker's Dozen Top 13 high school softball rankings, relied on the bats as timely hitting helped it stay on course to secure a 6-2 win over the 10th-ranked Lady Lions.
The Green Wave struck first in the top of the first inning when Ava Greble shot a line drive to right field to make it 1-0. In the second inning, Audubon layed down multiple bunts to allow Emma Speyrer to drive in a run on an RBI single. Alyson Yurcaba followed up with a two-run single.
Gloucester was held scoreless over the first two innings by Audubon freshman Alaina Copsetta in her varsity debut. Copsetta pitched a complete game and allowed two earned runs and six hits while racking up 11 strikeouts.
The Lady Lions scored on a pair of RBI singles from Rylie Zearfoss and Val Hatterer.
Yurcaba drove in another run in the top of the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly. Greble knocked in another run with a single.
Yurcaba broke out as one of the best hitters in the Colonial Conference in 2022, so Audubon coach Erin Small didn't expect her to see many good pitches in the batter's box.
"She's a smart hitter," Small said. "I told her before the season she won't see too many good pitches so she has to narrow down the ones in her zone that she can drive. ... Today she found her pitches and did damage with her hits."
Yurcaba also understands that pitchers will be more mindful of where she's hitting in the order. She finished 2-for-3 with two singles, a sacrifice fly, and three runs battled in against the Lions.
"My mechanics are the biggest part of my hitting," Yurcaba said. "I make sure my hips and hands are in-sync when up to bat and that helps me drive the ball and stay together."