From honorable mention to No. 2 in the state polls. From playoff hopeful to state title contender.
In a span of two weeks, this is the 180-degree turn Chamberlain High’s softball team has taken.
To call it a mere hot streak would be an understatement.
In the last two weeks, the Chiefs finished a combined 7-1 at two high-profile state tournaments. Chamberlain went 3-1 at the Bartow Tournament of Champions, which included defeating state-ranked Bartow and Strawberry Crest, and this past weekend, the Chiefs went 4-0 to win the Gold Division of the Kissimmee Klassic, beating state-ranked Pembroke Pines Charter en route to the championship.
With district play beginning this weekend for the Chiefs, the hot streak is surely giving Chamberlain, the 2012 7A state champion, extra confidence.
“It definitely gives you momentum,” said Chamberlain coach Bob Diez. “We feel we can play with anybody.”
Sophomore pitcher Olivia Dwyer, whose older sister Rachel was the starter for Chamberlain last season, was named Gold Division MVP.
“She has given us a great chance to win,” Diez said of Dwyer, who is 19-3 this season. “She was walking people earlier in the year and getting herself in trouble. She’s really settled down.”
In Kissimmee, junior shortstop Lauren Williams went 4-for-5 in a shutout win against Douglas, junior third baseman Jenna Brownell hit a grand slam in a win against Plant and senior outfielder Izzy Ordorica hit a walk-off single to beat Pembroke Pines Charter.
However, batting hasn’t been the reason for Chamberlain’s success, Diez said.
“We’ve kind of quit beating ourselves,” he said. “We’re not blowing people out. We’ve been playing really good defense.”
The defense is led by a talented infield with Williams, Brownell and senior first baseman Elizabeth Diaz, who has signed with Saint Leo University.
“She’s got as good a glove as anybody I’ve had at first base,” Diez said.