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Haddon Heights downed the only undefeated high school softball team remaining in the state Tuesday to advance to the New Jersey Group 1 Championship Game, likely to be played Saturday at Toms River against Saddle Brook.
Saddle Brook (28-3) was the top seed in the North Jersey Section 1 Group 1 tournament. Haddon Heights (25-3) was the third seed in the South Jersey Group 1 tournament.
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“Shayla Sweeney went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI and also pitched a two-hitter to lead Haddon Heights to a 5-1 victory over Florence in the Group 1 semifinals in Mount Holly.
“Florence, the lone remaining undefeated team in the state entering the game, ended the season at 24-1.”
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“Haddon Heights is headed to the Group 1 state final after defeating previously unbeaten Florence, 5-1, in Tuesday’s state Group 1 semifinal at Rancocas Valley.
“Coach Michelle Schlichtig told her players after the game to soak it all in, so they did, receiving congratulations from their parents, friends, and a large group of Garnets fans.
“And most of all, the team applied the lessons learned from last year’s 1-0 state loss to Robbinsville in the state Group 2 semifinals.
” ‘Nobody likes losing a 1-0 game, but being there took nerves away and we knew what it felt like to lose and never wanted that feeling again,’ said Schlichtig, who won a state title as a Haddon Heights pitcher in 2001.”