PATCHOGUE ¬– Marlboro keeps hitting the cover off the ball – and winning! The streaking Iron Dukes advanced to the Class B state semifinals with another convincing win, 8-3, over Babylon on Wednesday at St. Joseph’s College on Long Island.
Marlboro scored three runs in the top of the first inning, only to give Babylon three right back in the bottom of the inning. Not a problem. Ace Aubrey Bianco settled in and again had some big hits as the Iron Dukes rolled on.
“Nothing’s going to be handed to us,” Bianco said. “Nothing’s going to be easy. It feels amazing to get to the semifinals. There’s no other way to describe it. Beating teams like this by more than five runs is amazing and we hope to keep it up.”
Marlboro (22-1), will take on defending state champion Chatham (23-0) in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury.
Chatham also put up an 8-3 win, over Saranac, in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Albany-area champion, Chatham is led by ace Kayla Doty, who will play at the University of Connecticut next season.
Marlboro has now won 14 games in a row since losing to Warwick, a Class AA school, on April 23. The game plan for the Iron Dukes remains the same: Get good pitching from the gritty Bianco, who is now 15-1 this year, and hit the cover off the ball. Marlboro spotted Valhalla four runs in the opening-round of the state tournament on Monday, before rallying for an 11-5 run.
Marlboro took a 4-3 lead over Babylon in the second on an RBI single by Ashley Votta. The Iron Dukes put the game away in the fourth, scoring three runs in the fourth with two outs. Bianco, Cassie LaPointe and Megan Diamond all had RBI singles during the rally. Every player in Marlboro’s lineup had a hit.
Bianco and LaPointe each had three hits and Nina Wimberly and Diamond added two apiece. Marlboro moves on to the state semifinals for the first time since 2009 when the Iron Dukes lost to Mechanicville 2-0.