By Brandon judeh
Carly DeRose and her South Range softball teammates have been nothing short of dominant this season and they continued to roll by defeating Mogadore, 11-0, to capture another Division III sectional championship.
DeRose improves to 16-1 on the season and is a big reason why the Raiders cruised to an Inter Tri-County League Tier One title and a trip to the district tournament.
“Carly (DeRose) is such a great leader because she’s not soft-spoken,” Raiders coach Don Feren said. “I mean that in a good way. She’s not afraid to speak up and let her teammates know if they are not performing the best that they can.”
Last season South Range (24-2) suffered a disappointing defeat to Newton Falls in the sectional finals, something Feren says has lingered in the back of his girls’ minds this entire season.
“After reaching the regional finals three years ago and following it up with a trip to the regional semifinals, losing early on last year was a bit of a disappointment,” Feren said.
DeRose says that she and her teammates got caught looking ahead in last year’s tournament.
“We got caught up in looking ahead past Newton Falls last year after advancing so far the previous years,” DeRose said. “But we learned to never take any team for granted and to never let up in a game no matter what the score is.”
DeRose pitched another masterpiece on Friday as she struck out eight and carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning before Mogadore’s Katy Otto broke it up with a clean single into left field.
The pitcher also helped her own cause, she reached base in all three of her at-bats, scored three runs and even stole home.
The Raiders jumped on the Wildcats early, putting a three spot on the board in the first inning.
“It was key to come out and score early tonight, scoring three in the first, four in the second and two more in the third was huge,” Feren said.
Helping the South Range offense was Mogadore’s defense. The Wildcats committed seven errors that led to six runs.
“We’re a young team, but we made a lot of errors out there and that really cost us from being able to stay in the game,” said Mogadore head coach Tom Pollock.
Jordan Youngs and Darrian Yanek led the way for the Raiders’ offense, both girls knocked in a pair of runs. Lexi Naples added an RBI single and had a stolen base while Morgan Renforth also recorded an RBI.
Next up for South Range is a team they are very familiar with, East Palestine, after the Bulldogs defeated Atwater Waterloo, 3-0, on Friday evening.
The two teams have become very close over the years because three girls on each team have played together during traveling softball in the summer. Feren says that he expects the game to be very competitive.
“East Palestine gives us their best game every time we play them,” he said. “I expect it to be a hard-fought, close game from start to finish.”