Vernon softball celebrates successful season

| 04 Jun 2018 | 03:13

    VERNON — If someone is searching for proof that having a positive frame of mind along with taking meaningful action leads to success, they can look at the results for the Vernon High School softball program in 2018.
    The Vikings finished with an impressive overall record of 18-5 and they were 6-2 in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Freedom Division.
    Kerry Ludeking, Vernon’s head coach, recalls some of her team’s most memorable games from this past season.
    “Definitely the H/W/S (Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Counties Tournament) is the most impressive, there are many teams that have fight to win that contest," Ludeking said. “It stands out do to the teams we have to face, and the size of the schools we also face."
    Vernon captured the H/W/S title with victories over Belvidere (11-2, quarterfinals), Lenape Valley (1-0, semifinals) and North Hunterdon (2-1, championship game).
    “This team grew up together and they actually all lead on and off the field, I honestly can't just pick one [leader], they really do pick each other up," Ludeking said. “On the field they never gave up and off the field the help each other in social and academic ways."
    A number of student-athletes showed improvements for the Vikings this spring.
    “Most of the players improved once again, either in their hitting, their fielding and again in their leadership roles," Ludeking said. “Natalie Alheidt (junior) I saw turn into a leader for the future, while becoming stronger this year. Franki Potocki already had signed (NCAA) Division I in the fall and I saw even more qualities of strength and endurance in her.
    "As so with Gianna Vlasoaney (senior catcher), leading the helm behind the plate and continuing to make her bat do the talking. Pitcher Victoria Grifone came through this year not just throwing harder, but also making her bat known in the lineup."
    The Vikings advanced to the semifinal round of the NJSIAA North 1 Group 2 Sectional Tournament before losing to Lenape Valley.
    “Franki ended with 100 hits in the career and Gianna with 99 that is a big accomplishment in softball," Ludeking said. “I also would like to thank the six seniors for four great years, you will be missed but you will never be forgotten- Franki Potocki, Gianna Valsoaney, Nicole Struble, Kailyn Schofield, Taylor Krasnomowitz and Melissa Lancellotti.
    “The optimism [for next season] comes from what the six seniors started four years ago a change and mind set in Vernon softball. We will lose some key players and positions but I believe we have some amazing players coming back and adding some younger players to keep the new tradition moving forward."