Mandarano settling into outfield spot for Dunmore

Mia, athlete

Sophomore Mia Mandarano is the Dunmorean’s Athlete of the Month selection for the month of May.

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.”

Tallo rebounds from injury to pitch for Lady Bucks

Gina TalloBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore junior Gina Tallo is the ace starting pitcher for the Lady Bucks softball team this year, and it took a lot of hard work.

A three-year Dunmore varsity softball member, Gina suffered an injury to the ulnar nerve of her right pitching arm last season. She spent the off season in rehab at NovaCare at the Dunmore YMCA.

She rebounded well enough to pitch in Dunmore’s first six games.

Daughter of Dean and Lisa Tallo, Dunmore, Gina defeated Riverside, 9-5, in an early season contest. Gina hurled a strong 12 innings giving up only five hits, walking two and striking out six in a tough 3-1 loss to Riverside, Saturday, April 16.

A strong hitter, Gina had three hits and scored a run in a tough 7-6 loss to intra-borough rival Holy Cross Wednesday, April 20.

And she drove in her team’s only run in a 7-1 loss to Lakeland Friday, April 15.

Gina played with her sister Carly the previous two seasons for Dunmore. Carly Tallo graduated from Dunmore in 2015.

Gina, who played in the outfield last season, is a strong asset in the classroom too. She has an impressive 97 academic average. She is a member of numerous clubs and organizations, including the TACT Club, SADD, the French Club and Health Careers Club. She is a member of the swimming team at Dunmore.

Gina said she has learned a lot from Dunmore veteran softball coach Ryan Ferguson. “He teaches us that we have to try to do well, but the team is always there to back you up. You can depend on your teammates too.”

Gina, 17, said her parents have taught her mostly about “responsibility.”

The scholar-athlete, whose hobbies include reading, said she would like to see Beyoncé in concert someday.

She talked about her future goals. “I would like to major in biology in college and possibly go to medical school to become a doctor. I would like to go to a big school. If wanted, I would like to play softball or swim. I really want to go to a good school and later get a good job.”

Gina has played travel softball for the Northeast Hurricanes for the past four years.

She talked about what it takes to be a good softball pitcher.

“It takes a lot of hard work. You need to have the right mind set. You need to be a leader on the team.”

She remains positive despite her team’s slow start this season. “We need to improve our record and we will. We have a shot at the district playoffs despite our rocky start. Our goal is to get there. We think we can do it.”

Gina has a will to win and strong work ethic.

Don’t count her and the Lady Bucks out.