The Cactus Cobras put on a batting clinic Saturday versus Seton Catholic, shutting out the opposing #11 seed Sentinels 13-0 in the 4A playoffs opener.
The underappreciated Lady Cobras (16-3) came into the day as the #6 seed in the 4A State Tournament with a chip on their collective shoulder. On the other hand, the opposing Sentinels (15-1) came in trying to play spoiler to the Cobras season but failed to tally a single run on the day.
Cactus got off to a strong start, after blanking Seton Catholic in the first inning. The Lady Cobras wasted no time to seize the opportunity and jump all over the Sentinels.
In the bottom of the first inning, senior shortstop Hannah DiFabio crushed a ball to left-center field resulting in a triple. In the very next at-bat Pitcher McKenna “Bub” Feringa smacked a home run that would bring Difabio home making the score, 2-0.
“My mentality was to come up and swing at the first pitch. I saw that she gave Tanya the first pitch and it was a strike so I figured she would go there again. She kept giving me the same pitch over-and-over until I finally hit it fair,” DiFabio said.
The Cobras were far from done in the first inning, leaving the Sentinels to do some damage control very early.
After a double from contributors like junior catcher Janessa Escobar. The Cobras would quickly grow their lead and end the first inning up on the Sentinels 5-0.
The key to the game according to DiFabio was to come out with high-intensity and to quickly come out and score in the first inning.
“We just needed a lot of energy for us to come out on top, especially in the first inning. Normally we tend to not come out very effective in the first playoff game, so we needed to have a lot of energy and I feel like that is what the difference for us was today,” DiFabio said.
The Cobras would continue to dominate, adding a few more runs sprinkled throughout the rest of the game and winning 13-0 by run rule in the fifth inning.
Cactus High School will have little time to enjoy this victory, as they will face #3 seeded Canyon Del Oro High School Tuesday in Tucson.
DiFabio said the Cobras will be ready.
“We will be prepared,” DiFabio said. “We have to continue to have good pitch selection because we all know that it will only get tougher from here."