It’s not an obsession but it’s definitely a mission.

In the wake of a 2-0 loss to Section I John Jay High School in the Class AA state semi finals last June the Lady Blue Devils used water bottles and paper cups to scoop up infield dirt from the diamond at the Cicero-North Syracuse Softball Complex.

The team’s 2006 mission is to return that dirt when they go back to the state finals.

“I still have the dirt. I don’t look at it very often and (Jessica) Mooney gave me hers and said ‘bring it back for me next year,’” said junior pitcher Michelle Krier.

The Blue Devils lost Jessica Mooney, Alex Meglin and Christine Wiktorowski to graduation, but with a roster loaded with returning juniors who played key roles in the run to the state final four the Blue Devils will be tough to beat.

Leading the charge of returning players are Krier, Holly Przybysz (shortstop/first base), Courtney Keleher (right field), Mary Henseler (second base), Dana Levy (center field) and senior third baseman Wendy Steiger.

Krier earned All-NFL first team honors while Przybysz and Keleher were second teamers and Henseler was a third team all-league selection.

Juniors Nicole Catalano (catcher), Samantha Meglin (first base) and Janelle Breitnauer (left field) are returning players that are expected to play bigger roles this season, as will freshman Danielle Frye and Jenna Rickan who made varsity as eighth graders.

Almost too young to know they shouldn’t have gone as far as they did last season the Blue Devils will face proving to the rest of Section VI that last year was not a fluke and they are indeed a team capable of winning the state title.

“I think people thought that it was a fluke but we all knew that we worked really hard to get where we were and that we deserved it,” said Krier.

Krier also added the curveball to her repertoire. The pitch that ironically enough was the one that gave the Blue Devils the most trouble in the loss to John Jay.

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