The Middletown Babe Ruth Girls Softball 16U All-Star Team has been active in recent weeks, competing against teams from all over the state of New Jersey. In three tournaments during this time, the team has managed to place third in the New Jersey Babe Ruth 16U State Tournament, reached the semifinals of the Middletown Summer Classic, and brought home a first-place trophy from the Howell Heatwave Tournament. These accomplishments are in spite of the fact that most of their competition has been elite travel teams with players hand-picked from many different towns, leagues, and schools, while all of Middletown’s girls play for Middletown Babe Ruth and 80 percent of Middletown’s team are students at Middletown High School North. Middletown High School North’s sophomore class is the core of the team, with as many as nine representatives on the team. This group is headed by Nicole Pinero, who is tied for the team lead with a .455 on-base percentage while playing left field, and had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning in the finals of the Howell Heatwave Tournament. Jessica Fiore handles all the catching duties and leads the team with a .439 batting average. Casey Crist has been the winning pitcher in all of the team’s wins, including the final of the Howell Heatwave Tournament. Liz Herzog is tied for the team lead in runs scored and plays right field. Britney Carpenter plays first base and is tied with Pinero with a .455 on-base percentage. Caitlin Zitzman starts at third base and is hitting .320 from the second spot in the order. Other North sophomores contributing to the team’s success in limited roles are Nicole Quiceno, Ashley Foster and Kara Kelsey. Jenna Lougee, Middletown North’s lone junior class member, is the team’s shortstop and is hitting .381 for the summer. North senior Cara Piasecki batted .538 and leads the team in extra base hits in only four games, while fellow senior Kelly Crist was solid in a replacement role during the state tournament. The team is also represented by three other local high schools. Aubrey Cefalo, of Red Bank Catholic, plays center field and is batting .442 from the leadoff spot and is tied for the team lead in runs scored. She has been key to many of the team’s wins, while Henry Hudson Regional junior Aubrie Park plays second base, has a .400 on-base percentage, and also pitched no-hit relief during the state tournament. Another starting pitcher, Rebekah Weiner, is a junior at The Ranney School in Tinton Falls. The team is coached by Richard Crist and Jeff Lougee, and assisted by scorekeeper Audrey Herzog.