NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Talia Harris and Julia Velez provided the offense for the Lorain Dirt Devils on Sunday, not that Adriana Marcano needed much.
Marcano tossed a no-hitter and Harris and Valez hit home runs to power the Dirt Devils to the OGSO Class B (ages 10-U) district finals with a 19-1 win Sunday night over the South Amherst All-Stars at Palmer Field.
Lorain (13-1) meets the Wellington Heat at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Palmer Field for the B2 district championship. South Amherst’s tournament run ends with a 4-11 record.
The Dirt Devils amassed 21 hits, including nine for extra bases. Harris and Velez each belted two-run home runs in the 10-run fourth inning as Lorain scored 10 times before making an out.
Harris led the attack with five hits, which included two doubles and her home run. She scored five times. First baseman Alexis Garcia drove in four runs on two doubles. Velez had three RBIs.
“You never know what to expect in playoffs and districts,” said Dirt Devils coach Javier Marcano, Adriana’s dad. “I just wanted to come at them early. Our pitching was outstanding. Everybody was hitting. We’ve had trouble with everyone hitting in the lineup. For the most part, almost everyone had at least one hit or two hits.
“I’m happy with the results. It was a very offensive game for us. We have Wellington on Tuesday. We faced them earlier in the year. We won the game but you never know when it comes to playoffs. You just have to come at them every game.”
Adriana Marcano aided her own effort with four hits and four RBIs. She settled down after giving up five walks in the first two innings. She finished with 12 strikeouts.
“Javier’s team is definitely well-rounded,” All-Stars coach Eric Sexstella said. “He has it all — bats, defense and pitching.”
Lorain’s only loss this year was to the Amherst Avengers, 13-3. The Avengers face the Medina Swarm in the B1 district final Tuesday night at Palmer Field. The Swarm advanced to the final with a 10-9 win over Buckeye in Sunday evening’s other game at Palmer.
Seven errors, including four in the fourth inning, cost South Amherst.
“The bottom line was defense and we had none,” Sexstella said. “I thought my pitcher (Paige Sexstella, his daughter) was throwing very well in pregame. A pitcher can only do so much. Our bats were definitely moving the other night and that pitcher was no different. She (Marcano) didn’t show much junk. It was fastballs and a couple change-ups. I don’t know, maybe it was an end-of-the-season summer bug. I don’t know.
“I don’t feel too badly. This is a group of girls that sat mostly the bench for other South Amherst teams. This is really their first year playing. … The Lorain team has been together for several years. That’s something we’ll have to do with these girls. We need to keep the main group together plus add some odds and ends. You really need pitching. One decent pitcher, plus one or two that are starting to come along. That’s hard in this league.”
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.