Dazzling DeFord leads Marian into softball state semis

Sam DeFord has literally been un-hittable at times this postseason for the Marian softball team. She took a perfect game into the 7th inning of the sectional semis and then threw a no-hitter to win the sectional championship.

Last weekend, she threw 12 innings in the Regional Championship game, not giving up a single run in extra innings to allow her team to prevail 4-3 and advance to the State Semis for the first time in school history.

To say she is one of the main reasons the Knights are having their best season in school history would be an understatement.

"She's pretty good,” fellow senior Michelle Laux says with a huge smile.

"This is the furthest I've ever gone with any team,” DeFord explains.

“I'm really glad it is with these girls. We really gel well together and it is just really exciting that this is all happening."

In her 5 post-season starts, DeFord has given up just four runs in 38 innings.

"That's pretty outstanding,” says Marian coach George Grenert, who is making his first trip to softball’s final weekend after 20 years as the Knights head coach.

“As a coach or anybody if you say, 'Ok, i'm going to give you a pitcher and in 38 innings, you're going to give up just four runs,' you'd take that in a minute."

You'd also think those types of stats would make DeFord cool, calm and collective in the circle. Not so much.

"You can ask anyone on the team, I'm nervous if we are playing a team that isn't even ranked,” DeFord openly admits. “I'm nervous all the time."

"Yeah, she always freaks out,” Laux explains.

“I'm normally not that nervous ever, but she is and I don't know why."

But the nerves help produce results and DeFord is hoping those results are two more wins this weekend that would result in Marian’s first softball state championship in school history.

"It would be awesome,” DeFord says with the biggest smile. “You can't really put into words what a state championship would mean. But it would be amazing."

Overall DeFord is 28-3 this season. She will play at Division I Illinois-Chicago next season. Sam took an orientation trip to her future school on Tuesday, but she says she wishes she could have skipped it.

She says she isn't thinking of next year at all right now. She's concentrating 100% on Friday when Marian faces Jasper at 8:30 at Pike High School in Indy.

A win sends them to the state championship game at 4:30 Saturday at Ben Davis High School in Indy against either Bellmont or New Palestine.

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