RIVERVIEW — After two crucial errors Wednesday at first base that turned into runs, Alonso junior infielder Allison Carroll stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth, looking for redemption.
And it couldn’t have come during a more intense situation.
With runners on second and third and her team trailing bottom seed Wharton by a run in a Class 8A District 7 softball semifinal, Carroll popped a bunt that fell just outside the pitcher’s circle, giving Amanda Wetzel and Elly Pillers enough time to reach the plate in a 4-3 thrilling victory.
Alonso (20-4) will play Bloomingdale, a 1-0 victor against fourth-seeded Newsome in the other semifinal, tonight at 7 for the district title.
“I couldn’t have done it without my team holding me up,” Carroll said. “I probably would have gone down in a slump and probably wouldn’t have had that bunt, so I just thank my team for being there for me.”
Wharton junior pitcher Mak Dooley struck out 12 batters in the loss, while Kayla Maxwell scattered six hits with four strikeouts to help advance the No. 7 state-ranked Ravens.
Wharton took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning, scoring two runs on two errors. Victoria Perri tied the game in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double, but Wharton regain the lead in the top of the eighth on a RBI single from Nicole Stannard.
Bloomingdale scored its lone run of the game in the third inning when Taylor Engman scored on a passed ball. J
4A-10: TC blanks Holy Names
TAMPA – Tampa Catholic stopped a three-year run of district titles for Academy of Holy Names with a 4-0 win in the Class 4A-District 10 final at Berkeley Prep.
Tampa Catholic broke through in the fourth inning with three runs. Gabby Perez got on after being a hit by a pitch to start the inning and advanced when Madison Epperson reached on an error. After a throwing error, Courtney Carson bunted and two runs scored on another error. Kaylyn Carson singled in another run and the Tigers were ahead, 3-0.
Tampa Catholic used Perez, a sophomore, as starting pitcher, but Tampa Catholic coach Mark Braddy said he was just giving her an inning so he could bring in Emily Small to keep the Holy Names hitters off balance.
Small hadn’t pitched all season until the semifinal win Tuesday, but she started pitching about two weeks ago, knowing she might be needed for districts.
“I started practicing because I knew the team could use someone to step up in playoffs,’’ Small said. “I didn’t really want to pitch this year, but I just wanted to come back and do it for the team.’’
7A-7: Durant, Plant CIty advance
BRANDON — Shannon Bell singled twice and doubled, driving in six runs to lead Durant to a 10-6 upset win against top-seed Strawberry Crest in the Class 7A-District 7 softball semifinals.
In the nightcap, Plant City’s MacKenzie Allen ripped a double over the head of East Bay’s center fielder in the bottom of the seventh, leading the Raiders to a 5-4 win.
Bell hit a bases-loaded single, driving in two to stake the Cougars to a 4-0 lead after two innings. At one point, Durant led 7-1 before Strawberry Crest batted around in the sixth inning and scored five to close the gap.
Kelli Tidwell, Selena Bezares, Sloan Hammons and Morgan Slater each had two hits for the Cougars, and Brooke Freeman and Slater each scored three runs.
Plant City’s Noelle Dietrich and East Bay’s Taylor Baker were locked up in a pitchers’ duel through five innings, with the Raiders up 1-0. Then the Indians came to life, scoring in the sixth on successive run-scoring singles by Amber Hess and Angelica Garcia.
Plant City came right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Rebecca Sorsenson, Dietrich, Edmilly Molina and Allen singled in the inning and the team was aided by two East Bay errors to retake the lead 4-2.
The Indians tied it at 4 when Catelynn Gregory and Hannah Perez got on base and Baker chased them home with a triple.
Plant City’s Dietrich singled in the bottom of the seventh, which was followed by Molina’s second single prior to MacKenzie’s game-winning double.
6A-9: Jefferson to meet Chamberlain
TAMPA – The high sky almost ended Jefferson right fielder Chelsea Gray’s day in the top of the fourth as she lost a pop fly in the sun, taking a shot to the side of the head. However, the senior stayed in and had a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the inning to lead the Dragons to a 10-0 Class 6A-District 9 semifinal victory against Hillsborough.
Gray’s double was followed by a Kayla Fernandez RBI double and a Samantha Moran run-scoring single. Justine Fernandez then put the game away with another bases-clearing double as the Dragons scored eight in the inning en route to a mercy rule win in five innings. Dragons pitcher Nicole Lopez had nine strikeouts in the win.
Jefferson will face Chamberlain, winners of a tight 7-5 game against Blake, in tonight’s district final. The Chiefs had to rally then hold on as Blake opened the game with three runs on a bases-loaded double from Chan’yl Herring in the first. Top-seeded Chamberlain got on the board in the third as Hope Hernandez singled in a run followed by an RBI double by Jenna Brownell. The Chiefs got control in the fifth, scoring four runs keyed by a Kelsi Mays two-run single. Blake didn’t go away, scoring a pair in the top of the seventh, but weren’t able to finish the upset.
6A-10: Mitchell stops Dixie Hollins
NEW PORT RICHEY — Mitchell used a complete game from pitcher Jordan Fowler and just enough offense to get by Dixie Hollins 6-3 in a Class 6A-District 10 semifinal.
The Mustangs got their offense rolling in the first inning. Two-out hits by Kelsea Vanderveer and Samantha Renzetti put Mitchell up 2-0. Vanderveer would make it 3-0 two innings later with another RBI single.
Fowler, meanwhile, found her groove on the mound. She only gave up two hits through the first five innings. When she wasn’t striking out Rebel hitters, Fowler and her teammates played outstanding defense.
Mitchell will take on Osceola tonight at 7 for the district title. Osceola defeated Spring Hill Springstead 14-4 in the other semifinal.
5A-9: Middleton makes title game
TAMPA — Middleton clinched the first postseason berth in program history with a 19-11 win against Spoto in the Class 5A-District 9 semifinals.
Middleton will face top-seed Robinson tonight in the district championship.
The Tigers (5-14) collected just four hits, including a double by senior Alexus Raymond, but capitalized on seven Spoto errors.
5A-7: Zephyrhills falls
BROOKSVILLE — After recording 13 hits in Tuesday’s 5A-7 quarterfinal softball win against Weeki Wachee, third-seeded Zephyrhills was hoping it still had some pop left in its offense.
But in the evening’s first of two semifinals at Tom Varn Park, Nature Coast freshman right-hander Abbey Primavera shut down Zephyrhills.
Primavera, who hurled a shutout until the seventh inning, permitted four Zephyrhills hits and one walk against four strikeouts as the Sharks (22-3) eliminated Bulldogs (13-12), 4-1.
The Sharks (22-3) advanced to the final tonight against top-seeded Brooksville Hernando (24-2).
3A-7: CDS, Seffner Chr. triumph
ODESSA — Carrollwood Day needed eight innings to top Brooks-DeBartolo 4-3 and Seffner Christian downed Tampa Prep 12-0 in five as the two winners will meet for the district title Thursday afternoon at Fest Field.
In the first semifinal, CDS (13-7) let a 3-0 lead slip away by allowing the Phoenix (6-13) to score two runs in the top of the sixth to tie it. Savannah Bennett drove in two, while Amanda Rose also drove in two, including the game-winning run by bring home Emma Frost in the eighth with a hit to center.
2A-8: Bayshore Chr. falls