Marlboro spotted Valhalla four runs in Tuesday’s opening-round Class B state tournament game at Rhinebeck High.
Not a problem.
Young Marlboro came storming back to pick up an 11-5 win – scoring five runs in the sixth inning to put it away. And, so, the winning streak continues. Marlboro (21-1) has now won 13 games in a row since losing to Warwick, a Class AA school, on April 23.
Marlboro moves on to play Long Island’s Babylon in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. Babylon defeated East Rockaway 7-6 in the first round on Tuesday.
“I was a little nervous in the beginning, we all might have been, but we shook it off,” said Marlboro second baseman Ashley Votta, who had three hits. “Once we started scoring, I think the momentum changed. I think Valhalla still wanted to play, so we kept playing. We knew we couldn’t have a let down and pulled it out.”
Valhalla (21-4) jumped on Marlboro 4-0, scoring two runs in the first and a run apiece in the second and third. What seemed more troubling for the Iron Dukes was that they committed three errors during that span. Valhalla could have even tacked on a few more runs with runners on second and third and one out in the third.
However, Marlboro junior ace Aubrey Bianco (14-1) struck out Kristen Colabatistto and induced leadoff hitter Kaylie Dymek into a fly out to end the threat. Marlboro tied the game with four runs in the bottom of the third, highlighted by RBI’s from Bianco, Amber Mianti and Danielle Martuscello.
Once Marlboro’s potent offense strted clicking, Bianco settled in, using her drop ball and fastball effectively. At one point, she retired 10-of-11 batters. An RBI double by Bianco in the fourth made it 5-4 and Cassie LaPointe’s RBI single provided the game-winning run. (note in by interview I credited Bianco, sorry.)
“I was concerned because we haven’t made that many errors in a game,” Marlboro coach Jen Veronesi said. “I knew the nerves were setting in. But I knew we were going to chip away and get one or two runs at a time. Our nerves were acting up, this is a young team. But I knew when they started to play like I know they can play, good things were going to happen.”
Valhalla pulled to within 6-5 in the sixth. Marlboro followed with its five-run barrage in the bottom of the inning. LaPointe and Mianti each had an RBI during the outburst. Second baseman Ashley Votta had three hits for Marlboro, the third-ranked Class B team in the state, and Bianco, Mianti, LaPointe and Megan Diamond added two apiece.