Masterman scored an unearned run in the second inning and made it stand up - thanks largely to the three-hit pitching of Emily Ashbridge - for a 1-0 victory over Girls High on Thursday at La Salle University and the Blue Dragons' second straight Public League softball championship.
Samantha Napierkowski struck out but reached first on an error, and she scored with two outs on Gloria Rosado's double, her second of the season. The big hit came off senior Mariah Itchon, who was filling in for the Tree's top pitcher, Andrea Sermarini. Sermarini was out with an injury.
"I didn't think the one run would be enough," said Rosado, who was eager to get ready for her school's prom Thursday night. "I thought we'd get more runs. When I went up to the plate, I just told myself to pretend it was batting practice."
Itchon's slower offerings were the key reason that the Blue Dragons didn't get more runs than they did. Itchon struck out only two, but her pitches kept the Masterman batters' timing off all game.
"That's the closest game we've had all season," said acting Masterman athletic director Mary Curran, who has been acting as coach since regular coach John Derkits fell outside the school on May 11 and injured a leg.
Curran has led the team to six straight victories. The Blue Dragons will play for the District 12 Class AA championship Thursday against a representative from the Catholic League.
Girls will face Catholic League champion St. Hubert for the District 2 Class AAAA crown the same day.
"That hurt," Girls coach Al Hanssen said of the one-run loss. "We didn't have Andrea, but I thought we played well."
His team is 13-3.
Ashbridge, a junior, limited the Tree to three hits. The lefthander struck out 11.
Girls 0000000 - 032
Masterman 010000x - 160
WP: Emily Ashbridge. LP: Mariah Itchon. 2B: M-Gloria Rosado.