By Warren Rappleyea Staff Writer Lady Seraphs proving their mettle on softball diamond Seraphs earn the three seed in Parochial South B At the beginning of the season coach Jeanne Dickinson knew that her Mater Dei High School softball team was likely to be underestimated. That’s not the case now, though, as the Middletown Seraphs will play Rumson-Fair Haven this afternoon for a share of the Shore Conference Class B Central title. After losing several key starters from last year’s 12-9 team, Dickinson said, “I don’t think people thought much of us as a team. So the Seraphs went out and proved themselves. Along the way Dickinson’s team downed St. Rose twice, Shore Regional, in a 2-1 game; Monmouth Regional in 11 innings; and pulled a stunning comeback to upend Matawan. With a 16-7 overall record, Mater Dei also qualified for the NJSIAA Parochial B tourney, where they are the No. 3 seed in the bracket. The Seraphs will host Sacred Heart Tuesday at 4 p.m. The winner of that contest gets the winner of the Cardinal McCarrick (7)-Gloucester Catholic (2) first-round match-up. “From the start of the season the girls had a motto, ‘Together everyone achieves more,’ ” Dickinson said. “That’s the way they’ve played all season. This has been such a team effort, and I’m particularly pleased with the way the girls play defense.” That defense is solid up the middle. The Seraphs double-play combo of second baseman Lisa Holt and junior shortstop Sarah McCarthy has been outstanding, committing just five errors between them. Center fielder Katie Supon and catcher Nicole Faccas, who played the outfield a year ago, have been excellent as well. Right fielder Kelly Shannon keeps opponents hustling as was evidenced by her seven assists. On the mound, Ashley Heaney has done all the work. The junior’s 16-7 record mirrors that of the team. In 142 innings she has 107 strikeouts and just six walks, while compiling a 1.58 ERA. Offensively, the Seraphs score enough to get by. Holt is Mater Dei’s top hitter with a .459 average, including 10 extra base hits, and eight RBIs. McCarthy is right behind with a .423 mark, 18 RBIs; and her 18 stolen bases are tops on the team. Shannon, a junior, is batting .406 with a homer and 19 RBIs, and left fielder/DH Emily Cortiglia is at .333 with six ribbys. Other members of the team include first baseman Taryn Balthazar, third basemen Katie Dellosso and Desiree Marsh; juniors Jackie Anderson, who splits the left field and DH duties with Cortiglia, and Natalie Bernstein, a catcher; and freshman infielder Erica Weeks. “The girls wanted to have a good year, and they’ve all stepped up a bit to make it happen,” Dickinson said.