Warriors win league title with great season record

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“Next year we return a great core of girls, our entire infield will be intact plus our pitcher. We will need to replace outfield spots, but have a nice group of freshmen and junior varsity players who did well this year that will battle for some time.”
Coach Angelo Matz

By Josh Lashley
— With a veteran squad stepping onto the field, there were some high expectations for the Delaware Valley High School softball program this spring, and — guess what? The Warriors were able to meet those expectations as they won the Lackawanna League Division 2 title and had an overall season record of 13-7.

Warriors head coach Angelo Matz clearly remembers some of his team’s standout performances over the past few months.

“Any game we played turned out to be important, especially in the league,” Matz said. “We started the season off with some big wins against North Pocono which put us in the driver’s seat for a league championship. Then down the stretch with North Pocono playing well we had to win some games to clinch. The Scranton Prep game, which we won in eight innings was a pivotal game-we scored on a double steal of home so it was very exciting. That game set up us clinching the league.

“Our District 2 semifinal game against Williamsport also sticks out. We lost 4-2 but left bases loaded with one out in bottom of seventh with a chance to win it. In those games you need to be perfect or close to win it and sometimes the ball doesn't drop your way either. What I’m most proud of is that every time we stepped on the field we had a chance to win. The girls rose up to a higher level of ball this year and played very well.”

Leadership, of course, was a major reason for Delaware Valley’s success.

“We had five seniors who were all great leaders,” Matz said. “Alissa Depadua and Erin McNeely were our daily captains and Natalie Mickles, Kaelin Stevens and Tessa Walters were game captains and all contributed. My junior captain was Nikki Cuccio who is one of the most competitive kids I’ve ever coached. I think our younger kids learned something from each of them.

“Mickles led the team in hitting, batting .478 with 19 RBIs and supplying big power from the No. 3 spot. Cuccio, batting leadoff, was our catalyst, hitting .444 with 17 RBIs and 24 runs scored while covering center field. Depadua hit a career high .371, McNeely led the team with four home runs and had 17 RBIs. Stevens, in right field and Tessa Walters as catcher were solid throughout the season.”

Matz mentioned Stephanie O’Grady (short stop), McKenna Quinn (utility player), Marielle Cavallaro (second base), Lexi Lambert (third base), Kailee Dube (first base) and MacKenna Powell (pitcher) as being among those student-athletes who continually showed progress as the season moved forward.

“Next year we return a great core of girls, our entire infield will be intact plus our pitcher,” Matz said. “We will need to replace outfield spots, but have a nice group of freshmen and junior varsity players who did well this year that will battle for some time.”

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