By Steve Svetovich
Mia Mandarano, 15, is only a sophomore, but already she has earned a starting spot in right field for the Dunmore Lady Bucks.
Daughter of John and Rita Mandarano, Dunmore, Mia has been getting one or two hits every game and is batting close to .500 at press time. She had two hits and a run in her team’s recent 7-6 loss to intra-borough rival Holy Cross.
Mia started a few games at second base last season as a freshman at Dunmore, but this year settled into right field where she has excelled defensively.
She talked about what it takes to be a good outfielder. “You need to have speed and be able to adjust to where the ball is going in the outfield. You need to be prepared and know the cutoff and where to throw the ball.”
And she certainly has performed well on the offensive side. “I try to keep my head in the game and think about getting a hit and helping my team.”
She said the team is focused. “We want to play as best as possible. We want to win games and play hard. There are so many good teams in our league.”
Mia has learned a lot from Dunmore coach Ryan Ferguson. “He teaches us to always be positive and have confidence in our abilities.”
Her parents have taught her the same. “My parents also teach me to be confident and positive. They tell me I can do anything I want if I work hard enough.”
Mia, an honor student, also is a member of the tennis team at Dunmore High School. She is a member of SADD, TACT, the Spanish Club and the Art Club.
Her best subject is English.
She talked about her future goals.
“I may want to become a teacher and possibly go to Marywood. I would like to get some type of softball scholarship. I really want to go to a good school, play softball, do well in college and end up with a good job. Being a teacher would be nice.”
The scholar-athlete said her hobby is simply practicing softball to be the best she can be.
She plays summer softball in the Dunmore Miss-E League. She played three years of travel softball for the Impact Panthers. Mia has been playing softball in Dunmore leagues since age five.
“I love it.”
Mia enjoys listening to music in her spare time, especially the country music of Luke Bryan who she saw last summer at Montage Mountain.
The talented sophomore has enjoyed her first two years at Dunmore.
“I love Dunmore. We are all so close here at Dunmore High School. There is always someone there for you.”