TAMPA – The Bloomingdale High softball team earned a trip to the Class 8A-Region 2 final with a 3-1 win against host Alonso on Tuesday.
The Bulls were unable to blow the game open, but pitcher Lace Smith kept Alonso at bay until the Bulls scored three in the top of the seventh. Alonso scored a run in the bottom of the seventh and had two runners on before Smith fired a strikeout to finish it.
“It wasn’t easy, but we just wanted to get it over,’’ said Smith, who has committed to the University of Buffalo. “This was a big one. I was confident, but it’s great to move on.’’
Bloomingdale coach Mandy Schuerman said she knew her team blew several chances, but she was also happy to be moving ahead.
“I think the difference was that we had timely hitting when we needed it,’’ Schuerman said. “We’ve never been past district finals, so this was a big one for us.’’
Alonso pitcher Kayla Maxwell dodged several bullets. She had a no-hitter until the sixth inning, but the Bulls had runners on base in each of the first four innings thanks to three Alonso errors and four walks. Bloomingdale left the bases loaded in the first inning and had runners in scoring position in each of the next two innings.
Maxwell kept Alonso in the game, and the Ravens had runners in scoring position in the first two innings, but the Bulls broke through in the seventh. Lizzie Jackson sliced a double to left to open the inning and moved to third on a single by Taylor Engman. A single by Darby Bemaldo scored the first run and Smith tripled to make it 3-0.
6A-3: Brownell keys Chamberlain win
TAMPA – Chamberlain’s Jenna Brownell said her team was after a little revenge after dropping a district final to Jefferson two weeks ago. The junior took little time getting her reprisal as she sent a three-run homer over the center-field wall in the first inning, leading the Chiefs to a 7-3 6A-Region 3 semifinal win.
“To get revenge and not give up on anything, that’s what we’ve worked too hard on every single day to let it slip through our fingers,” Brownell said.
Brownell, who also doubled in the game, has proven her versatility over the years for the Chiefs, playing in the outfield her freshman year on Chamberlain’s 2012 state championship team, moving to shortstop last year and taking over at third base this season.
“Jenna is an outstanding player,” Chiefs coach Bobby Diez said. “She played shortstop and was an all-county player (last year), and we moved her to third this year and she’s just as good there.”
The district runner-up status didn’t faze Diez, as the coach said three of Chamberlain’s seven final four teams came from district runner-ups.
Jefferson (17-7) cut the lead in the fourth when a Natali Morgado groundout plated Natalia Fernandez, but Chamberlain (26-4) answered with a run in the fifth on an Elizabeth Diaz sacrifice fly. The Chiefs added three more in the sixth on RBI doubles from Megan Maloney and Lauren Williams and a sacrifice fly by Hope Hernandez.
Chamberlain pitcher Olivia Dwyer improved to 24-4 on the year.
“Olivia threw the ball well, and we got some key hits,” Diez said. “That was the biggest difference.”
3A-2: Carrollwood Day makes history
ODESSA — A program first led Carrollwood Day to a program first.
Senior leftfielder Amanda Rose hit the Patriots’ first over-the-fence homer at Fest Field on Tuesday afternoon, and it became the game-winner that propelled them to a 2-1 win against Lakeland Christian and the program’s first region final berth.
“That’s news to me,” Rose said of her milestone. “As a senior, its a honor to do that for our team and keep our season going, not just for us seniors, but for the players younger than me and their upcoming seasons. ... I’m excited — we’re all excited.”
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman shortstop Emma Frost hit a lead-off double for the Patriots’ (15-7) first hit of the game. With two outs, Rose hit the first pitch from Vikings (18-8) starter Kristen Beacham over the left-field fence about 212 feet for the game-changing play.
“My first at-bat, she threw a fastball down the middle, so I thought she might do it again, so that’s what I was looking for,” Rose said, “and that’s what she gave me.”
Patriots starter Emily Jansen pitched a complete game, giving up just four hits and a walk.
In just his second season, coach Chuck Fest has taken a team with just 11 players, including a 12-year-old sixth-grader who starts in right field (Kacey Atkins), deeper in the postseason than any previous season. The Vikings took the Patriots to nine innings before knocking them off last season in the quarterfinals.
Carrollwood Day was looking for redemption.
“Absolutely (thought we could get to the region final),” Fest said. “That’s a good team, and it’s the opposite this year because we’re one play better than them when they were one play better than us last year.
“We believe we can go all the way. They have the confidence to feel that way, and it’s remarkable what we’ve done with 11 players from tryouts and it’s all because they’ve believed they could.”
5A-2: Hernando tops River Ridge
BROOKSVILLE – Despite making seven errors, Brooksville Hernando was able to get past Ridgewood 6-5 in a Class 5A-Region 2 semifinal.
A two-out throwing error in the bottom of the sixth inning permitted junior left fielder Sierra Cannon, who led the Leopards with two hits, to score from second base with what turned out to be the winning run.
Ridgewood, which had split the other regular-season meetings with Hernando, went down swinging. The Royal Knights loaded the bases in the top of the seventh.
Hernando senior shortstop Tana McDaniel forced out two runners at the plate with throws to catcher Megan Lane before senior right-hander Courtney Riddle (27-1) got a ground out to end the game.
Morgan Tolle belted her team-leading eighth homer – a two-run inside-the-park shot – just inside the right-field line in the first inning.
4A-3: Holy Names rally falls short
TAMPA — The trouble for Academy of the Holy Names started in the first two innings of the Class 4A-Region 3 semifinal when it made a devastating error and suffered a crucial injury.
The error, a dropped ball that would have been the third out of a scoreless first inning, was followed by six first-inning runs by visiting Mulberry.
The injury in the top of the second, a strained knee that sidelined shortstop and clean-up hitter Sydney Coleman, was followed by a power drain in the middle of the Jags’ lineup.
Ultimately, the result was a 16-10 Academy loss to Mulberry, which led 12-0 at the end of the second inning.
“We made too many mistakes,” Academy of the Holy Names coach Don Barron said. “We walked too many (eight) and had a lot of hits that just didn’t drop in.”
But Academy (15-7) still hung tough after trailing 12-0, scoring five in the bottom of the second and four more in the sixth. But it was too little too late.
Academy’s Katie Hale finished 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored, and Janelle Enriquez went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
2A-2: Canterbury shuts out AATL
TAMPA — In a rematch from last season’s Class 2A state semifinals, Academy at the Lakes and Canterbury felt like the second time facing each other in less than a year would be a much tougher matchup.
For five innings, it was. The latter two innings belonged to Canterbury, which scored 10 runs in the sixth and seventh for a 10-0 victory against Academy at the Lakes in a Class 2A-Region 3 semifinal at Live Oak Park.
“We played a six inning game,” AATL coach Jerry English said. “(Canterbury) played seven innings. They’re a very well coached and very talented team. The cream rose to the top.”
Academy at the Lakes (15-4) could not get anything going against Canterbury freshman Kama Woodall, who struckout 14 and walked two in the victory. Woodall’s two walks both came to USF commitment Lauren Evans, who notched the Wildcats’ only hit of the evening.
Canterbury (19-6) broke the game open in the top of the sixth inning when Miranda Posey, who eventually scored on a double by Taylor Bump, hit a single to center. Bump ended the game with five runs driven in, including a bases-clearing triple.
7A-2: Plant City- Durant postponed
PLANT CITY — The Plant City at Durant Class 7A-Region 2 semifinal was postponed due to a wet field. Rain swept through the area in the late afternoon making the field unplayable.
The teams will meet tonight at Durant at 7 for the right to advance to the region final.