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Preston collects 16 hits to defeat Spellman

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Danielle Sedia has been as consistent as they come in the leadoff spot. Since the start of the season, the Preston centerfielder has been a regular on the bases and has been swinging an excellent bat.

“From game one it’s always been that way,” Preston coach Rachel Mazza said. “She gets one, two, three hits a game.”

The trend continued against rival Cardinal Spellman. Sedia went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Her big day helped spark two five-run innings for the Panthers in a 15-4 victory over host Spellman in CHSAA Bronx/Westchester softball Saturday.

“It feels good when I hit it every time,” said Sedia, who seemingly hit nothing but lines drives. “I just try to put it out there.”

Her two-RBI double in the bottom of the second helped give Preston, which had 16 hits, a 2-0 lead against Spellman started Tiffany Rondon, who had earlier pitched the Falcons to a 7-6 win against Our Lady of Victory in the first game of the doubleheader.

Sedia, who later scored, led off a five-run fourth, against reliever Linda McCaffrey, with a single to centerfield. The inning, which put Preston up 10-0, was highlighted by a two-run double to the gap in right centerfield by Ashley Weiderhold.

“She is the best leadoff hitter we’ve ever had,” Mazza said of Sedia, who also flew out to deep center field.

The Falcons, who were close to being Preston’s third-run rule victim of the week, scratched back in the fourth and fifth inning. Francis Trosa ripped a triple to lead off the fourth. She scored by leaping over the tag at home on a Victoria Quinones ground ball and then made a quick dive back to touch the plate to make it 10-1.

Spellman (5-4) scored three more times in the fifth, highlighted by a two-out double to centerfield by Trosa to make it 10-4. Windmiller Kaitlyn Brown, who had been cruising up until that point, struck out Quinones to end the threat. She allowed just four hits and struck out six.

“It’s such a shame that she is behind [Preston ace] Devyn Abbate because she is so good and she is so capable of being a No. 1 pitcher,” Mazza said. “…It’s a shame she can’t shine the way I know she can shine.”

Added Brown: “I know I worked hard all winter. I just have to come prepared to play and give it my all.”

With Rondon back in the game, Preston (8-0) closed the door with a five-run seventh, capped by a three-run homer to left-center by Laura Montalto, who was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored.

“When everyone hits we usually get a rally and it’s always for a long time,” Sedia said.

The Panthers are peaking at the right time, with a chance to clinch the division title next week with the Archdiocesan playoffs just around the corner.

“As we were going through seven, eight and nine [hitters in the order], they are whacking the ball around.” Spellman coach Dan Crane said. “What is up with this team?”

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