Winning a Shore Conference Tournament championship is often even harder than winning a state title so you can be sure the Toms River North baseball and Donovan Catholic softball teams feel pretty good about what happened Monday night.

The Mariners, who seem to play their best baseball late in the season under Coach Andy Pagano, completed a trifecta after blanking Central 4-0 in the SCT baseball final at FirstEnergy Park.

Senior left-hander Jarred Bellissimo was the story in this game as he threw a 4-hitter with 11 strikeouts and added to his effort with a two-run double.  North, who won a third straight Ocean County Tournament title last month along with a Class A South co-championship, finishes the season at 22-8.

By the way, the team they tied for the division title, Jackson Memorial will face Hunterdon Central this afternoon in the Group 4 state semifinals at Rider University.  The Jaguars captured the South Jersey title last week.

Dreams die hard and they did last week for Donovan Catholic following a 2-0 loss to rival St. John Vianney in the Non-Public South “A” finals.  That loss ended the Griffins dream of winning an overall state softball title and possibly finishing an undefeated season.

However the good news was the Griffins knew they would get another crack at Vianney in the finals of the Shore Conference Tournament and they made the most of it last night at Count Basie Park.  Jayda Kearney and

Amanda MacBurnie homered as part of a seven-run 1st inning and Donovan Catholic cruised to a 13-4 victory and their first-ever SCT championship as they finish a 30-1 season.

The victory was especially sweet for the teams’ four seniors as MacBurnie, Alexa Pagano, Katie Vazquez and Grace Leone all missed graduation last night for the final game of their high school careers.  I think they are pretty happy with their decisions.

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