ROSEMONT – It was the third straight year in a Class 3A supersectional for senior third-year starter Devyn Zuro and the Nazareth softball team, but the feeling this time was different.
“Right when we got here, we were confident,” Zuro said. “I don’t think we had any fear at all. We trusted each other so much and we executed so well.”
Now comes a completely new feeling as the Roadrunners are going downstate for the first time after beating defending Class 3A champion Montini Catholic 3-0 June 5 at the Ball Park in Rosemont.
Nazareth (31-6-1) scored all three runs in the top of the first inning to unseat Montini (27-8), which won last year’s supersectional meeting 8-2.
The Roadrunners came out swinging this time around with singles by seniors Gloria Corona, Taylor Gipson and CJ Mardirosian, a run-scoring sacrifice fly by sophomore Jordan Barnes, and a two-out, two-run, opposite-field double by junior Julia Dallmann.
“It was a duck snort, but it worked. That gave us some extra room,” Dallmann said.
Nazareth coach Emily (Hajduk) Matthews is a 2003 graduate and former softball standout for the Roadrunners.
“Just to give back to the school and coach these girls, I can’t put it into words because it’s always the goal to get downstate. I’m so happy for them,” Matthews said.
Zuro fired a four-hitter with three strikeouts and three hit batters and escaped unscathed from Montini rallies the final two innings.
Montini captured a fifth straight regional title and had just three senior starters in the supersectional: Naomi Alonzo, Tia Sondej and Serena Almodovar.
“We wanted to two-peat [at state], but I’d say I’d rather have one than none,” Alonzo said.
“I told the girls that would be the challenge, to get back to this spot. To their credit they did,” Montini coach Mike Bukovsky said. “It’s too bad when you lose a game this way. I don’t feel we played a clean game. We’ll be back.”