SCOREBOARD Suarez’s gem leads Hudson Catholic to first-ever county softball title

Fires two-hitter against defending champion Kearny in 15-0 rout
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COUNTY CHAMPS – The Hudson Catholic softball team poses with the trophy after winning the Hudson County Tournament for the first time in school history.
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BEAUTIFUL PITCHING – Hudson Catholic senior pitcher Miyoksi Suarez delivers a pitch during the Hawks’ 15-0 win over Kearny in the Hudson County Tournament finale.
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COUNTY CHAMPS – The Hudson Catholic softball team poses with the trophy after winning the Hudson County Tournament for the first time in school history.
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BEAUTIFUL PITCHING – Hudson Catholic senior pitcher Miyoksi Suarez delivers a pitch during the Hawks’ 15-0 win over Kearny in the Hudson County Tournament finale.

According to Google, there are several Japanese-to-English translations for the first name of Hudson Catholic’s standout senior pitcher.

Her name is Miyoksi Suarez, perhaps the most unique name in all of Hudson County sports. And it’s a name now that will not be forgotten in Hudson Catholic folklore, probably forever.

It is spelled correctly above. It’s not Miyoski, which is the common mistake most people make with the “s” in front of the “k” and which makes it easier for everyone to pronounce.

“I like my name,” Suarez says with conviction. “It stands out a lot.”

Asking Miyoksi herself what it means and what appears on the Internet can be two totally different things. In reality, it could have seven different meanings. Or make that 22, ranging from “beautiful fortune,” and “beautiful happiness,” to “beautiful warrior” and “intense princess.”

Perhaps Miyoksi means “beautiful snow” — if there is such a thing in these parts. It can also mean “deep snow.” We all can relate to that one.

It also could mean “beautiful fortune” or “beautiful happiness” or just “happiness and good fortune.” Lot of beauty involved with those translations. Some fortune as well.

It also apparently means “beautiful reason for history.”

Ah ha, there’s the definition that bests describes Suarez and what she accomplished last week. She’s a beautiful reason for history.

You see, Suarez took the mound last Wednesday night for the Hawks in the Hudson County Tournament finale at Weehawken’s Riverfront complex, with the intent of righting a wrong that happened too many times over Suarez’s brilliant career.

Suarez was pitching against Kearny, the same school that knocked the Hawks out of the Hudson County Tournament in 2014 and 2016, each time in the semifinal round. Kearny went on to win the coveted county title each time. Hudson Catholic, with female students in the school for only the last 10 years, never won one.

And it was the same Kearny that came storming back against Suarez and the Hawks earlier in the season, when the Hawks took a 9-3 lead into the sixth inning _ only to lose by the unthinkable score of 16-9. Kearny exploded for 13 runs in the sixth, scoring every way imaginable with Suarez toeing the slab.

“We had the big lead and we just fell apart,” Suarez said. “It was horrible. Honestly, I thought we played a good game until that inning. We just learned from that game that we had to finish strong.”

The Hawks remained steadfast through the first four innings last Wednesday, then enjoyed one of those explosive innings of their own.

They scored seven runs in the fifth inning and added six more in the sixth en route to a 15-0 rout of the defending champions, giving Hudson Catholic (19-5) its first-ever Hudson County title.

Suarez was brilliant, firing a two-hitter. She only struck out two, but she kept the Kearny batters guessing with an excellent drop pitch and a stellar change-up, retiring nine batters on groundouts.

Suarez also helped her cause with a two-run single in the sixth inning that  helped to break the game wide open and enforce the 10-run mercy rule.

“She’s a player,” said second-year Hudson Catholic head coach Shawn Stacevicz. “I truly believe that she could start on any team in the state.”

Catcher Neckolette Nedwell also had a great game, smacking two hits, including a triple, and knocking in two runs. Nedwell had a week worthy of Athlete of the Week status, delivering seven hits in 10 at-bats with a double, two triples, one homer and five RBI.

Danielle Rosa had three RBI for the Hawks and pinch-hitter Lee Ann Acuna had two RBI.

“I wasn’t expecting this kind of game,” Suarez said. “I’ve been playing for a long time and I never experienced anything like this. We were always confident. I always knew my team would pull through. We weren’t thinking about what happened the last time against them. We worked too hard all season to have that happen. I just made sure I set them down 1-2-3 and that was it. And we finished it this time.”

While Suarez said that the Hawks weren’t thinking about the last time they faced Kearny, Stacevicz made sure that it was in their minds.

“I told them to remember what happened,” Stacevicz said. “We had a big lead and let it slip away. We couldn’t let that happen again. You never know when you’ll get another chance like this, to play for a county championship. It was very clear today that they remembered.”

Stacevicz said that his team had to be patient at the plate against Kearny pitching ace Sydney Pace.

“We worked on staying off the high pitch,” Stacevicz said. “We got the low pitch and then we hit the ball hard.”

Stacevicz said that he was happy for his graduating class.

“I’m so happy for the seniors, because they worked so hard for this,” Stacevicz said. “Last year was my first year and they didn’t know me or how I coached. They grew on me a little and they responded to me. They were able to get the job done.”

Led by the senior with the many beautiful names, none better than beautiful reason for history. Suarez and the Hawks created history by winning the first-ever county title.

“Coach [Stacevicz] said that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives,” Suarez said. “Right here, right now, this moment, we’ll always have that, even 20 years from now. We did it. It feels so great.”

Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at OGSMAR@aol.com. You can also read Jim’s blog at www.jimhaguesports.blogspot.com