Lady Dukes continue to ride hot streak with win over West Branch

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Marlington's Sofia Nase pitched a no-hitter against West Branch. (JMN Photo | Jordan Miller)
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Marlington’s softball team moved to 17-1 on the season after defeating the West Branch Warriors 2-0 Tuesday evening.

The game remained scoreless through the first five innings.

Marlington drew blood in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring two runs.

Audrey Miller led off the inning with a double to the left centerfield gap to get on base. She advanced to third base on an Emma Jackson groundout.

Miller scored Marlington’s first run of the game when Maria Walder hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Walder tagged up from third and beat the throw home to put the Dukes ahead 1-0.

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Marlington scored their second run with two outs in the inning.

Ava Collins hit a double, again to the left centerfield gap, to get on base. She moved to third on a wild pitch. Ashlyn Mauer stepped up to the plate next and hit a double to deep left field, sending Collins home and extending Marlington’s lead to 2-0.

“I feel like it’s good for us to be in this kind of game, to feel some adversity,” Marlington’s Head Coach Joe Tagliarini said following the win. “It’s the first time we’ve scored less than four runs in a game this year.”

Tagliarini is in his first year as the head coach of the Dukes. As his team eyes a league title this season, Tagliarini said that is just part of the plan.

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“One thing I talked to the girls about when we brought our staff aboard was we want to compete for championships and that’s starting with the league championships,” he said. “You have to keep your focus on that and not too far ahead.”

Sofia Nase went the distance on the mound for Marlington, allowing zero hits and zero runs.

The road to success hasn’t been a cakewalk for Marlington this season. The Dukes have faced many teams throughout the season with impressive resumes and a combined 28 state championships between them.

Marlington’s most recent statement game was against Strasburg as they defeated the defending Division IV champions 6-3.

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The Lady Dukes only loss of the season was to Warren Champion 5-4.