Young SJV softball team is again a force in SJ Non-Public A, Shore Conference

April 20, 2023 at 3:38 p.m.
Young SJV softball team is again a force in SJ Non-Public A, Shore Conference
Young SJV softball team is again a force in SJ Non-Public A, Shore Conference

By Rich Fisher • Contributing Editor

When scanning Holmdel’s St. John Vianney varsity girls’ softball roster, observing grades alone, players appear young enough to be a JV team.

The Lancers feature just two seniors along with four freshmen, four sophomores and two juniors. While that might constitute a rebuilding year for some, SJV carried a 10-0 record into its Apr. 19 game with Red Bank Regional.

The youth belies the talent, which coach Kim Lombardi-McDougall feels is good enough to challenge such powerhouses as Donovan Catholic, Toms River; Red Bank Catholic and Notre Dame, Lawrenceville, in the uber-competitive South Jersey Non-Public A bracket.

“The sky’s the limit,” said Lombardi-McDougall, whose team must also face Donovan Catholic and RBC in the Shore Conference Tournament. “If they play good softball and keep on pace, I believe they can compete and beat anybody.

“They’ve already proven themselves,” the coach continued, alluding to wins over state powers Immaculate Heart Academy, Washington Twp.; Mount St. Dominic Academy, Caldwell; and Watchung Hills Regional, Warren. “Of course they have to keep proving themselves, but they’ve proven to be quite impressive so far.”

SJV has been infused with two talented freshmen – pitcher Madison McDougall (the coach’s daughter) and shortstop Gabby Gonzalez. McDougall is 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 50 innings and is hitting .517.

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“We’ve been training Madison for the Black and Yellow (SJV’s team colors) since she was four years old,” her mom said. “I was very confident in her ability. Of course, she had to go out and do it for herself. But I did think she could be a huge contributor to our team this year.”

Gonzalez is batting .393 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI.

“She and Madison have been playing together since they were six,” Lombardi-McDougall said. “They came in not like typical freshmen. They came into the season and wanted to contribute in any way to the team. I knew that Gabby was going to be the same kind of player that Madison was.”  

Then there is sophomore catcher Elisabeth Figliolino, who’s hitting .500 with five home runs, three doubles and 26 RBI.

“Figs dominates behind the box and has a scary bat,” Lombardi-McDougall said. “She gets a lot of key hits.”

There is talent throughout the lineup, which also features junior first baseman Isabelle Cattelona (.455, 10 RBI), sophomore second baseman Nicole Giglio (9 HBP, 13 runs), senior third baseman Holly Lovett (.485, 10 RBI, 11 runs), junior left fielder/shortstop Giuliana Cardin (.286), senior centerfielder Grace Colucci (.433, 12 RBI, 16 runs), junior right fielder Jordyn Gautier (.333), and junior outfielder Kelli Plumaker (.312).

Lovett and Colucci have key roles as leaders of the young bunch.

“They have been tremendous this year,” Lombardi-McDougall said. “They are 100 percent on board as leaders. They are so good; they work so well with the underclassmen.”

Time will tell if that work pays off in the Lancers first SCT title since 2019 and first state crown since 2018.


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When scanning Holmdel’s St. John Vianney varsity girls’ softball roster, observing grades alone, players appear young enough to be a JV team.

The Lancers feature just two seniors along with four freshmen, four sophomores and two juniors. While that might constitute a rebuilding year for some, SJV carried a 10-0 record into its Apr. 19 game with Red Bank Regional.

The youth belies the talent, which coach Kim Lombardi-McDougall feels is good enough to challenge such powerhouses as Donovan Catholic, Toms River; Red Bank Catholic and Notre Dame, Lawrenceville, in the uber-competitive South Jersey Non-Public A bracket.

“The sky’s the limit,” said Lombardi-McDougall, whose team must also face Donovan Catholic and RBC in the Shore Conference Tournament. “If they play good softball and keep on pace, I believe they can compete and beat anybody.

“They’ve already proven themselves,” the coach continued, alluding to wins over state powers Immaculate Heart Academy, Washington Twp.; Mount St. Dominic Academy, Caldwell; and Watchung Hills Regional, Warren. “Of course they have to keep proving themselves, but they’ve proven to be quite impressive so far.”

SJV has been infused with two talented freshmen – pitcher Madison McDougall (the coach’s daughter) and shortstop Gabby Gonzalez. McDougall is 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 50 innings and is hitting .517.

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“We’ve been training Madison for the Black and Yellow (SJV’s team colors) since she was four years old,” her mom said. “I was very confident in her ability. Of course, she had to go out and do it for herself. But I did think she could be a huge contributor to our team this year.”

Gonzalez is batting .393 with seven extra-base hits and 10 RBI.

“She and Madison have been playing together since they were six,” Lombardi-McDougall said. “They came in not like typical freshmen. They came into the season and wanted to contribute in any way to the team. I knew that Gabby was going to be the same kind of player that Madison was.”  

Then there is sophomore catcher Elisabeth Figliolino, who’s hitting .500 with five home runs, three doubles and 26 RBI.

“Figs dominates behind the box and has a scary bat,” Lombardi-McDougall said. “She gets a lot of key hits.”

There is talent throughout the lineup, which also features junior first baseman Isabelle Cattelona (.455, 10 RBI), sophomore second baseman Nicole Giglio (9 HBP, 13 runs), senior third baseman Holly Lovett (.485, 10 RBI, 11 runs), junior left fielder/shortstop Giuliana Cardin (.286), senior centerfielder Grace Colucci (.433, 12 RBI, 16 runs), junior right fielder Jordyn Gautier (.333), and junior outfielder Kelli Plumaker (.312).

Lovett and Colucci have key roles as leaders of the young bunch.

“They have been tremendous this year,” Lombardi-McDougall said. “They are 100 percent on board as leaders. They are so good; they work so well with the underclassmen.”

Time will tell if that work pays off in the Lancers first SCT title since 2019 and first state crown since 2018.

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