GLOUCESTER CITY (N.J.) - It had been five years since Gloucester last topped Gloucester Catholic in softball.
The Lady Lions made sure to change the outcome as they left no doubt with an 11-1 win over their crosstown rival under the lights on Saturday.
Gloucester starting pitcher Kloi Tighe went the distance allowing three hits and racking up a career-high nine strikeouts. The sophomore also went 1-for-3 at the plate with a single and a run batted in.
Gloucester's Kloi Tighe throws a pitch during a rivalry game against Gloucester Catholic. The Lady Lions earned an 11-1 win at William "Hawker" James Memorial Sports Complex in Gloucester City, New Jersey on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Collin Conway/D2 Sports Network
The offense was led by sophomore Kaelyn Zearfoss. Zearfoss went 3-for-4 with three singles and two RBIs. Zearfoss's three hits were a team-high as the Lady Lions racked up eight hits. Ava Rodgers and Lauren Parry notched extra base hits for Gloucester. Rodgers capped the game with a two-run double and Parry added a triple.
Gloucester Catholic's lone run came on a pair of errors in the field from Gloucester. Emily McGinn crossed the plate in the top of the fourth inning.
Gloucester's challenging schedule in the past week has been the key to improving in big games.
"No team that we've played recently is a 'cupcake'," Gloucester coach Megan Mason said. "We dropped a pair of games to two really good teams, and we also came out and rattled off wins against good teams. Right now I think it's just about making sure we get off on the right foot come playoff time."
A change in the lineup was much needed for the Lady Lions and it has led to success.
Gloucester's Kaelyn Zearfoss swings at a pitch during an 11-1 win over crosstown rival Gloucester Catholic at William "Hawker" James Memorial Sports Complex in Gloucester City, New Jersey on Saturday, May 13, 2023. Collin Conway/D2 Sports Network
"After some moves were made in the lineup, I think we've seen some more consistency," Zearfoss said. "Everyone just needs to do their job and we'll be fine the rest of the way."
Despite reaching a new career high in strikeouts, the win was what mattered most to Tighe.
"It's cool that I hit that mark," Tighe said. "The win is what I was worried about. I knew we'd make the plays on defense which allowed me to just go out and not have to stress."