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King Creates Runs in Rye Neck Sectional Win

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Rye Neck softball coach Joan Spedafino has never hesitated when it comes to promoting a promising underclassman and putting her in the starting lineup.

Freshman Diana King earned a starting position out of preseason and she has proven to be the Panthers’ catalyst.  Offensively, Spedafino showed how highly she thought of King by putting her in the lead-off spot.

“Coach Sped showed a lot of faith in me by putting me there and I have to do my job, which is to get on base,” King said.

In Rye Neck’s 6-0 win over Dobbs Ferry in a Section 1 Class B Softball Championship semifinal on Thursday, King was the initiator.

King tripled, doubled and singled and scored three runs. She triggered a four-run third inning with a lead-off double, and in the fifth, King’s one-out triple off the fence in center field resulted in her scampering home on a Jessica Calvini sacrifice fly.

“Diana is an amazing player and it is crazy to think that she is only a freshman,” said Calvini, a five-year varsity starter, who tossed a five-hitter with 12 strikeouts. “Diana consistently gets on base and consistently sets up innings for us.”

King, who was promoted to varsity for sectionals last year, found herself in a two-strike hole in the third inning, but battled back to even the count before ripping a scorching bouncer down the third-base line for a double. King would score the first run on a Calvini single.

“I struck out looking in my first at-bat so I know I didn’t want to do that again,” said the poised King. “I let it go and in my next at-bat, I just wanted to hit the ball like I did in our other game with Dobbs Ferry.”

Rye Neck returns to the sectional final for the fourth consecutive year and King is hoping for a reversal of last year’s final against Valhalla, Saturday.

“I am glad to be part of this again, especially with our seven seniors and especially playing Valhalla, again,” King said. “It is going to be a really good game.”

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