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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Class A softball: DeGennaro (18U), O'Flynn (18U Black) propel Pearl River into regional final

Picture: Pearl River's Jamie DeGennaro is congratulated after hitting a solo home run in the first inning of the Class A regional girls softball semifinal against Port Jervis at Minisink Valley High School June 6, 2011. Pearl River defeated Port Jervis 5-0. ( Seth Harrison / The Journal News )

SLATE HILL — Beginning with Jamie DeGennaro's (18U) home run in the top of the first, Pearl River's offense gave pitcher Katie O'Flynn (18U Black) plenty of support in Monday's 5-0 win over Section 9 champion Port Jervis in a Class A regional semifinal at Minisink Valley High School.

The Pirates banged out 11 hits. DeGennaro went 3 for 3 and drove in two runs. Her first-inning home run came after a double play that cleared the bases.

"Hitting it right after the double play was especially good," Pearl River coach Mike Carlacci said. "Instead of our momentum stopping, to get it right back there with the home run was a very good time to hit it."

The Pirates will play Elmira of Section 4 in Wednesday's 5:30 p.m. regional final at Nanuet High School. The winner advances to the state final four.

Pearl River (23-1) scored again in the second inning on an RBI single by Amanda Hartigan (18U Black). And DeGennaro and O'Flynn had back-to-back RBI singles in the third to extend the lead to 4-0. Nicole Leote drove in the final run in the fifth.

Kristyn Neroda (18U Black), Hartigan (18U Black) and O'Flynn (18U Black) each had two hits.

O'Flynn pitched a five-hitter and struck out seven. She did not allow a base runner through the first four innings.

"You want to get in your groove early," O'Flynn said. "Later on, you're expecting them to get a piece of it."

DeGennaro, the Pirates' catcher, saw that O'Flynn was going to be on her game right out of warm-ups.

"Usually she does a run-through of all of her pitches right before she's done," DeGennaro said. "Usually it takes a couple of each pitch to get it right, but she got it first shot, and then I knew she would be good hitting her spots and all."

The Red Raiders (13-8) threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, a hit batter and two singles loaded the bases. But O'Flynn induced a fly ball to preserve the shutout.

The Pirates are eager to play their next regional game at Nanuet, so close to home.

"That's awesome," Neroda said. "When I was in ninth grade, we played our regional games there. Everyone from our school goes."

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