DeRose is dominant in South Range win


STAFF report

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MASSILLON

South Range freshman pitcher Carly DeRose was a dominant force against Waterloo hitters on Wednesday at Massillon Community Park in the Division III regional softball semifinal.

DeRose (13-0) allowed just three base runners to go along with her 10-strikeout performance to push South Range past the Vikings 1-0.

“We haven’t seen a rise ball pitcher that drastic this year,” said Waterloo coach Brenda Flarida of DeRose. “She’s definitely one of the top [pitchers] we’ve seen.”

Vikings’ (24-5) clean up hitter Jessica Bolanz singled in the second inning, while the other runners were hit by a pitch and walked but weren’t able to get past first base.

“We hit off of two former Division I college pitchers [Tuesday] night to prepare,” said Flarida. “We laid off of [the rise ball Tuesday] night, but I don’t know why we couldn’t lay off of it tonight.”

South Range advanced to the regional final game on Saturday, the furthest the team has advanced in the tournament in school history. In 2001, South Range made it as far as the regional semifinal.

“All year long we’ve lived on our pitching and defense,” South Range coach Don Feren said. “We get one or two runs and we get by.”

The lone run for the Raiders (29-1) came in the sixth inning. Gab Naples led off with a single up the middle, and later reached second on a wild pitch. Senior catcher Laura Biroschak laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Naples to third. Emily Seman then drove a base hit up the middle, scoring Naples.

“As a coach, what more could you ask for out of a freshman?” said Feren of DeRose’s performance. “You wouldn’t know it was her first time here as a freshman.”

As for DeRose, who slept on the bus ride to Massillon, said she was really nervous about getting the start.

“I woke up and it hit me, we’re going to regionals,” said DeRose. “I was really nervous every inning, especially the last one because I knew that was the one that really mattered.”

The Raiders will play the winner of today’s other semifinal between Champion and Jeromesville Hillsdale.

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