Independence’s run to the Division III regional finals last season didn’t happen by accident. The Blue Devils used dominating pitching, defense and clutch hitting to win their first district title and come within one win of playing in the state tournament.
After a 5-1 win over St. Basil (PA) on Monday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando it appears the Blue Devils haven’t changed their winning formula.
Senior Victoria Sirna allowed just one run on two hits to pick up the win and senior Nicole Ferrara threw out a runner at the plate to preserve Independence’s early 2-1 lead.
“We’re happy,” said Independence coach Garry Moore. “As much as we struggled we made the plays when we had to. We played good defense, not all of them, but they made the plays when they had to. It’s a work in progress.”
With Independence leading by a run in the second, Ferrara fielded a ball in center field and threw a strike to senior catcher Halle Dorko to end St. Basil’s threat.”
“Not gonna’ lie, but after I released it I thought it was way over Halle’s head but it wasn’t,” Ferrara said. “It was perfect. It was a great feeling because at the time the score was 2-1 and we stopped the rally they had going. Halle acted as the wall and did not let the girl reach home. It was awesome.”
Dorko finished the game 2-for-3 with a run batted in and Sirna also was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Kim Rega, Mallory Trombetta and Ferrara all had hits for the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils, who play a pair of games on Tuesday, are much younger than last season.
Sirna, Dorko and Ferrara return up the middle and junior Katie George is back for her third straight season at shortstop and senior Larissa Adams is a returning starter in right field. The rest of the Independence lineup features freshmen Maggie George and Sophia Trombetta, at third base and left field, respectively, sophomore Sophie Piteo at second base and junior Mallory Trombetta at first. Mallory Trombetta is in her first season with the Blue Devils.
“There are a lot of questions that need to be answered (early in the season),” Moore said. “We still don’t have the answers but we’re finding out.”