Jersey Blues win streak ends at 11 BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer The 2007 Brookdale Community College women’s softball season can be summed up as one of lost opportunities. Despite winning the Garden State Athletic Conference and earning the No. 1 seed for the Region XIX championship, the Blues were never very consistent when it came to hitting with runners in scoring position. They could score in bunches, or not at all, especially in low-scoring games when they couldn’t deliver the clutch hit. That inconsistency came back to bite them at the Region XIX Tournament (May 4-5) at Middlesex Community College. The Blues scored just one run in two games, and for the first time in 12 years are not going to the national championship. The Blues lost 3-1 to Sussex and 4-0 to Camden to be taken out of the double-elimination tournament early and see its 11-year run as the Region champion come to a close. “We just didn’t swing the bats well,” said head coach Bo Scannapieco, who was seeking his 13th overall Region title. “It was part of our problem all year. We didn’t get the big hit with runners on base in key situations. We were up and down there.” Pitching and defense, which had been areas of concern during the season, did not hurt the Blues, who finished the season at 34-13, in the tournament. Amy Bankos and Stephanie Reitzel both pitched outstanding games, and with any kind run support could have won easily their games. “It was very hard to explain,” Scannapieco said of his team’s offensive struggles. “We didn’t get the job done. You have to give credit to the other teams. They made the plays.” This was a young Brookdale team and that may also have caught up to them. “A lot of kids were inexperienced in big games,” said Scannapieco. “Midway through the second game, the kids were starting to press.” All streaks eventually come to an end, but that didn’t make it any easier for the Blues to accept that this was the year and team whose watch it ended on. “Solemn, silent, shock and disbelief it happened” was the mood of the players on the bus ride home, Scannapieco said. “We just got outplayed. “The effort was there – we just didn’t get the results,” he added. It was Gloucester, the team that has stood in Brookdale’s path so often during the streak, that won this year’s tournament and will represent the region at the national tournament in Rochester, Minn., tomorrow through Saturday. The biggest disappointment about the lost weekend in Middlesex for Scannapieco was the fact he won’t have his players with him at the national tournament when he is officially inducted into the National Junior College Hall of Fame. He had so wished to have his players with him to celebrate it. With the championship streak now over, Scannapieco said it has forced him into some self-analysis. “It’s time I did that and took a fresh approach,” he said. “It’s made me recruit harder. I have to upgrade the talent. There are going to be significant changes.” Center fielder Allyson Melia (Toms River North) led the Jersey Blues who picked up postseason honors. The leadoff hitter was named the Region Player of the Year, batting .376 and playing a flawless center field. She will be an All-American candidate. Joining her on the Region First Team were Reitzel (Life Center Academy), Jenna Criscuolo (Middletown North) and Sky Rubel (Ocean Township). Danielle Smith (Neptune) was Second Team. Melia, Rubel and Criscuolo were First-Team All-GSAC with Amy Bankos (Monsignor Donovan) and Booy Erbig (Brick Township) Second Team selections.