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Saturday, May 14, 2011

DeStaso (GOLD) Shuts Down Ketcham



WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. — Danielle DeStaso (GOLD) has had a long two years.

She was diagnosed with Lyme Disease before her junior year and again last summer before her senior season at Clarkstown North High School began. An aggressive course of medicine helped stem the tide, but pitching 14 innings in one day – heck, in back-to-back games, with no break – is still a lot to ask.

Unfortunately for Roy C. Ketcham, DeStaso was stronger in her second game than the first.

The right-hander fired a five-hitter on Saturday and the Rams shut out RCK, 2-0, in the final game of the Melissa Bisaccia Tournament. The three-team friendship tourney is named for former Ketcham player Melissa Bisaccia, who passed away from a seizure while at college several years ago.

The big winner on the day was Eastchester, which started the tournament off with the 9 a.m. game by beating RCK, 2-1, and then coming back in the 11 a.m. contest to beat DeStaso and Clarkstown North, 6-2. Eastchester, now 13-1 on the season, is ranked ninth in the state in Class A.

Clarkstown North is now 11-4 after going 1-1 in the tourney.

"I told my team I thought this was a real character win," Clarkstown North coach Danielle Trainor said. "We came out and had a rough first game. This was about forgetting what happened in the first game and picking ourselves up."

Ketcham is now 10-3 after having something of a lost weekend. The Indians, ranked No. 25 in the state in Class AA, won four consecutive games this week between Monday and Thursday, but then scored just one run in two losses on Saturday.

"We came in flat today," Ketcham coach Melissa Zehr said. "Eastchester was a great hitting team and we came in without the approach we normally have. Having four games this week, winning all four, and the last game being (archrival) John Jay, emotionally it kind of wore on us."

"We knew they were a good team, ranked in the state, they can hit, and they don't make a lot of errors in the field," DeStaso said of Ketcham. "We played them last year and lost 4-2 (in the Section 1 playoffs). "We knew we'd have to get the key hits to beat them."

DeStaso did a tremendous job in the second game, never facing more than five Ketcham batters in an inning. She ran into trouble in the fourth when the Indians had runners on second and third with one out, but got out of it with a strikeout and a groundout. In the bottom of the seventh, RCK had runners on first and second with one out, but DeStaso got two fly balls to left field to end it.

Not bad for 14 innings pitched with less than an hour's break between games.

"It takes training," DeStaso said. "In travel ball sometimes you have to pitch two games in a row. I'll probably be sore tomorrow because we don't usually do it as much in high school ball, but I tend to pitch better in my second game because I'm warmer."

She also looked pretty good at the plate. In the third inning, DeStaso gave herself the only run she would need against RCK by rocking a Casey Herzog fastball over the left field fence for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead.

"When you hit it, you know if it's going to go out or not," she said with a smile. "It just popped off the bat. You know it's either going to go or fall right before the fence. I knew that was gone."

Clarkstown North added an insurance run in the fourth on an RBI single by Lauren Strum (16U Black).

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