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Mount St. Dominic head coach Lorenzo Sozio has put together splendid 500-148-1 record in 21 seasons at helm of Lady Lions. (Photos by Bill Allen-NJSportAction.NET)

Sozio has discussion with his Mount co-head coach Rob Stern during 2016 game

Coach Sozio also takes pride in always having well-groomed softball diamond at the Mount which has been site of many of his biggest victories . (Photo by Sean Reilly)

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“I'll say this, though, I'm also very proud to be able to say that I started the tradition of high-level play at West Essex. When we won 22 games there that was the best season in the program's history and was the first year that West Essex ever made it to the county tournament's final four.”

Andrea Mondadori, who has guided West Essex in the last decade, recently achieved her 200 th career victory and has the Lady Knights primed to compete along with the Mount and Nutley for the 2016 ECT title.

Since arriving at the Mount for the 1996 season, Sozio’s Lady Lions have copped 10 conference crowns, including five in the Northern Hills Conference (1998, 2001, 03, 05 and 06) and another five in the SEC (2009, 10, 11, 14 and 15), to go along with both a state prep A championship and Non-Public B state crown in 1996, the five Non-Public North A titles (2004-07 and 14), and the aforementioned overall Non-Public A title in 2014.

Sozio, a standout quarterback as a member of the Bloomfield High School Class of 1989, went on to play both football and baseball in college; first at Rowan and then at Kean, from where he was graduated in 1994.

“Sports are my life and softball has been a big part of that for nearly a quarter century,” said the veteran Mount head diamond mentor. “For me each season is different and it’s fun to be able to coach another group of players who come along.”

The Mount, which is expected to be one of the top teams along with Immaculate Heart competing for a Non-Public, North A state sectional crown later this month, was ranked as the top team in New Jersey to kick off the current campaign; however the Lady Lions have stumbled twice this season and will most likely not earn a third straight SEC title as West Essex is currently in the driver’s seat to cop that coveted crown.

Fielding errors led to both a 1-0 loss at Nutley on April 15 and a 5-1 loss at Wessex two weeks after that.

Since suffering that second setback on April 27; however, the Lady Lions have bounced back to win four straight: 1-0 over Montclair last Thursday, April 26, on a run in the bottom of the seventh inning in Caldwell; 15-8 over Red Bank Catholic and 8-2 over Saint Anthony's of Long Island in the inaugural MSDA Classic last Saturday, the 30th, and then the aforementioned 11-2 triumph over Sozio's alma mater, Bloomfield, on Monday, May 2nd.

The Mount is slated to close out the conference portion of the regular season by hosting Nutley at 4 p.m. Thursday (weather permitting), with regular season skirmishes scheduled next week against Staten Island-based Saint Joseph's by the Sea at Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field at Essex County Ivy Hill Park at 7 p.m. Monday, May 9, and then vs. Indian Hills at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, on the Lady Lions’ diamond in Caldwell.

Sozio (far left) and Stern (far right) guided Lady Lions to a county, state sectional and overall group championship level in 2014. (Photo by Gene Nann-nannphoto)

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