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NJ Softball Player of the Week: Governor Livington’s Alyssa Monaco
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NJ Softball Player of the Week: Governor Livington’s Alyssa Monaco

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The Governor Livingston High School softball team suffered a tough offseason graduation loss, losing two All-Area players and its top two pitchers in a 19-7 loss. And while some of the key players from a year ago return, the Highlanders have to rely on a few weapons with a total of ten varsity innings, and sophomore Alyssa Monaco has quickly emerged as a true standout.

Thanks to Monaco and a lineup that yielded 7.4 runs per game, Governor Livingston is well on his way to another big year, with a 17-6 record entering Saturday, as well as the No. 1 seed in the Union County Tournament .

More: Softball Review: May Daily Results and Links for Skyland, GMC, Union County Area

More: Softball rankings and notebook: Skyland Conference and area UCC, through May 6

That included a 4-0 stint last week, in which Monaco allowed just four earned runs in 27 innings, surrendering just 15 hits, walking seven and striking out 24. She is 14-6 for the season with a 2.29 ERA, has walked 37 and struck out 79. in 116 1/3 innings.

“Alyssa has been really outstanding for us so far, and the great thing is she has consistently improved every game,” said Governor Livingston Erin Lanigan. “She worked hard in the offseason, and it shows. She pitched a full game last season, plus an inning or so of relief for us as a freshman, so I think she came into this season with the early varsity jitters already out of her system.

“She is humble and confident, and not afraid to challenge all her secondary concerns. She got us out of tough situations and it was really exciting to watch. She also has tremendous confidence in her fielders behind her, and the dynamic between her and our catcher, Vanessa Popola, is truly something special. For me, I think one of the exciting things is that Lyss is only a sophomore, and I’m really looking forward to spending two more seasons with her and seeing what she can accomplish.

Staff Writer Simeon Pincus has been covering NJ sports since 1997 and has been on the softball field since 1999. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @SimeonPincus