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Rylee Michalak tosses no-hitter as Notre Dame softball blanks Cinnaminson to win 41st Hammonton Invitational Softball Tournament title

The Notre Dame High School softball team poses with the Hammonton Invitational Softball Tournament trophy after defeating Cinnaminson, 4-0, in the tournament final at Hammonton High School in Hammonton, New Jersey on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network

HAMMONTON - The powerhouse Notre Dame High School softball team set its sights on a second in-season tournament championship.

The Irish completed the task with a 4-0 suppression of a talented Cinnaminson lineup in the 41st Hammonton Invitational Softball Tournament final on Saturday. Notre Dame also defeated the Pirates in the final of the Rancocas Valley Elite Tournament earlier this season.

The prestigious tournament previously fielded 16 teams and was trimmed to eight teams this season. The bracket featured six South Jersey programs including Hammonton, Rancocas Valley, Kingsway, Haddon Heights, Cinnaminson and St. Joseph Academy. Manahawkin program Southern Regional also participated in the tourney.

The Irish cruised to victory in their first two matchups, defeating South Jersey’s No. 1 ranked team, Kingsway, 6-3, and Hammonton, 8-2. The Pirates rolled into the final with wins over Rancocas Valley and Haddon Heights.

Houston signee Rylee Michalak tossed her second no-hitter of the year in the 4-0 victory. The senior struck out 14 batters and walked three. She has 99 strikeouts in the circle this season.

It was Michalak's seventh outing this season with 10 or more strikeouts.

“I was just dialed in today,” Michalak said. “My fielders made the plays behind me and in the circle, I was getting ahead of each batter and let my off-speed pitches do the rest of the work.”

Gracyn Antosiewicz set the tone with a two-run home run to center field to give the Irish a lead they’d never surrender.

“At the time, I was just glad that I could help give us some early offense,” Antosiewicz said. “I didn’t realize that it’d end up as the biggest piece of offense in the game.”

Delaney Kroll, Hannah Derbyshire and Kayla Meenan all reached base via walk for Cinnaminson. Maddyn Rittler also reached base on an error on the game's first pitch.

“I think we just ran out of gas with it being our third game of the day,” Cinnaminson coach Louis Arnold said. “Credit to Notre Dame. They’re a great program and they just did a few things better than us to get the win. The girls will definitely use today as a learning point moving forward. No matter if we play a single game, two games, three games, and so on. They will make sure they come ready to play for every game they have ahead of them.”

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