FRAZER—After Shanahan pitcher Devon Miller struck out the side in the second inning, she gathered her teammates around her in the dugout.
“All we need is one run,” Miller told her teammates. “One run is going to win this. This team is not going to score against us.”
Well, the Eagles put two on the board, and it turns out they needed the spare, as Interboro cut the lead in half in the top of the seventh, and had the tying run in scoring position. But with her 14th and final strikeout of the game, Miller got the Eagles out of the jam and held on for the 2-1 win for the first District 1 softball championship in school history.
“Early on in the game, I was keeping them off balance and I was confident I’d be able to hold them to little or nothing,” said Miller. “It’s just great the way the team worked together to put those two runs when we really needed them.”
Miller’s confidence was hardly unearned. In her previous three post-season outings, Miller had allowed a single hit—a bunt single—and had struck out 44 in 17 innings of work. In Tuesday’s championship game, Miller allowed one run on one hit—a double from Billie Kerwood in the seventh. She struck out 14 and walked none.
“I saw a lot of their hitters were struggling with the high inside pitch,” said Miller. “So I basically just decided I should live up there. I didn’t always get the call, but they chased enough of them that it worked for me. It’s an amazing feeling to know we’re district champs. (Coach)Ron (Savastio) has been at this a really long time, so it’s kind of crazy that we got to be the team that got it done for him.”
Miller’s counterpart for Interoboro, Bridget Bailey, pitched another beauty of a game as well in the tough-luck loss. Bailey allowed two runs—one earned—on six scattered hits. She struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
“It’s disappointing to get so close and not win it,” said Bailey. “But it’s nice to know that we came this far. There’s not a ton of teams that can say they got here (to the finals) two years in a row.”
Shanahan notched the game’s first run in the bottom of the second after Miller’s pep talk. Alexa Peterson led off, reached with a bloop single to right, then stole second. With one out, Kat Rosfelder drilled a ball to the gap in right center for a double to score Peterson.
“As I was running to third, I was just hoping Ron would send me,” said Peterson. “I knew with the way Devon’s been pitching we might not need more than one, and I just wanted to be able to score it.”
The Eagles struck again an inning later. Casey McAllister got things going with a one-out single, and moved over to third when Annie Weyand connected on a single to right. McAllister then scored on a wild pitch.
“Both teams played great softball, about as good as you’ll see in high school,” said Interboro coach Chuck Pedrick. “They just scored one more run than we did. But next Monday we start states, so we still have a lot of softball still to play.”
The Bucs finally got on the board in the seventh. After Lily Bonner reached on an outfield error with one out, Kerwood ripped a double down the left field line to make it second and third. Emily Gavin followed, and hit a deep fly ball to center. Weyand made the grab, but it was deep enough to score Bonnor. But Miller got the final out with a strikeout to end the threat.
“With Devon pitching, I wasn’t worried at all,” said Savastio of the late inning threat. “This was all about the girls and I couldn’t be happier for them. No matter what the score, they all had each other and just said, ‘we got this, we got this.’”
While Miller has been consistently imposing in the circle, what pleases Savastio is that the Eagles have won with both offensive explosions, and by just manufacturing runs.
“When you can win these 1-0, 2-1 games, that shows that you’ve learned how to win,” said Savastio. “There was never a doubt in these girls minds they were going to win. And I think that attitude can take us a long way in states.”
Bishop Shanahan 2 Interboro 1
Interboro AB R H RBI Shanahan AB R H RBI
Bellano—2B 3 0 0 0 Newton—C 3 0 2 0
Patton—SS 3 0 0 0 C McAllister—2B 2 1 1 0
Bailey—P 3 0 0 0 Miller—P 3 0 0 0
Bonnor—RF 3 1 0 0 Weyand—CF 3 0 1 0
Bi Kerwood—DP 2 0 1 0 Peterson—3B 3 1 1 0
Gavin—CF 2 0 0 1 Sano—LF 2 0 0 0
Barrett—C 2 0 0 0 Rosfelder—1B 2 0 1 1
Stewart—PH 1 0 0 0 Keiper—SS 2 0 0 0
Br Kerwood—3B 2 0 0 0 M McAllister—DP 2 0 0 0
Wattorf—LF 2 0 0 0 Whitaker—FX/RF
Floyd FX/1B 0 0 0 0 Totals 22 2 6 1
Totals 23 1 1 1
2B—Rosfelder, Billie Kerwood
Interboro 0 0 0 0 0 0 1—1
Shanahan 0 1 1 0 0 0 X—2
Interboro IP R H BB K
Bailey (L) 6 2 6 0 8
Miller (W) 7 1 1 0 14