TAMPA — A week after claiming the first district title in program history, the Jefferson softball team got another program first Wednesday, earning the first postseason win of the fast-pitch era with a 5-1 victory against Osceola in the Class 6A-Region 3 quarterfinals.
Jefferson had been 0-3 all-time in the region playoffs, losing on the road in 2010, ’11 and ’12.
“We put something else in the book,” said Jefferson coach Eve Soto-Suarez. “I’m really proud of the girls. They came in hitting the ball well. They jumped on them in the first inning and they kept it up.”
Senior catcher Natali Morgado got the ball rolling with a two-run double in the first inning. In the bottom of the fifth, the Dragons (16-5) scored three more runs, getting a two-run double from Justine Fernandez and a an RBI double from Morgado.
Senior Nikki Lopez struck out 10 batters and had two hits and two runs scored. In the top of the sixth, Osceola (12-15) loaded the bases with no outs, but Lopez forced two infield fly balls and got a strikeout.
“I knew they were a good hitting team so I couldn’t put anything over the plate,” Lopez said.
“Nikki always keeps it calm,” Soto-Suarez said. “Our teams depends a lot on her, even with our defense.”
6A-3: Chamberlain ousts Mitchell
TRINITY — Chamberlain used a big first inning, which saw it score four runs, and came away with a 10-2 win against Mitchell in a Class 6A-Region 3 quarterfinal.
“We had a chance to score three or four runs and set (Chamberlain) back,” Mitchell coach Scott Bisbe said. “They just hit the ball well. We just picked a bad night to go flat with the bats. We should’ve hit that pitcher, and we just didn’t.”
Mitchell (24-4) had an opportunity to respond in the bottom of the first against Chamberlain pitcher Olivia Dwyer when the Mustangs loaded the bases with no outs, but they got no runs to show for it.
Bisbe went to junior Madison Staniloui with two outs in the top of the first for starter Jordan Fowler and she was able to slow down the Chiefs’ scoring. However, the Mustangs just could not put runs on the scoreboard. Chamberlain (21-3) blew things open in the top of the fourth when Isabella Ordorica blasted a two-run homer to give the Chiefs a commanding 7-0 lead.
The Mustangs scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but they were not enough to catch up with the Chiefs’ offense.
8A-2: Alonso holds off Palm Harbor
TAMPA – If postseason experience played a role in determining the 8A-Region 2 quarterfinal, Alonso would have been in trouble.
The Ravens had never won a playoff game and were hosting a three-time state champion Palm Harbor University program making its 16th trip to regionals in the past 17 years.
On this night, though, history couldn’t keep up with Alonso and Jessica Warren.
The Florida State commit came through with the game’s biggest hit, an inside-the-park, three-run home run in the second inning that propelled the Ravens.
“She was pitching me outside the whole game, so I was looking for it,” Warren said. “Once I hit it, I knew (the right fielder) wouldn’t be able to get to it because of the angle she took.”
Pitcher Kayla Maxwell scattered PHU’s seven hits and left nine Hurricanes base runners stranded. Maxwell’s sixth and final strikeout to end the fourth marked the Houston signee’s 100th of the season.
Eric Horchy, Suncoast News
8A-2: Smith lifts Bloomingdale
SARASOTA — Lace Smith pitched a perfect game and Bloomingdale got past Sarasota Riverview 1-0 in a Class 8A-Region 2 quarterfinal. The victory sets up a rematch of the 8A-District 7 tournament title game against Alonso. In that marathon, Alonso defeated Bloomingdale 7-6 in 12 innings.
4A-3: Mulberry ends Tampa Catholic’s season
TAMPA – District champion Tampa Catholic’s season came to an abrupt end at the hands of Mulberry, as it mustered just four hits in a 4-2 Class 4A-Region 3 quarterfinal loss.
“We were taking pitches that should have been ground balls and turning them into pop outs. All I wanted was a few more line drives,” said TC coach Mark Braddy. “Give credit to Mulberry. They came ready and did what they needed to do.”
The Crusaders (11-10) gave up a run in each of the first two innings, and issued a pair of bases-loaded walks in the fourth to fall behind 4-0. Shaila Warren led the Panthers (12-15) with a double, triple, RBI and two runs scored.
Tampa Catholic had one hit through five innings, but staged a rally in the sixth. Emily Small gave the Crusaders some hope with a two-run homer, her fifth of the year, scoring Jennifer Rogers to make it 4-2.
But Mulberry pitcher Sammy McNally held off the rally by retiring the final five batters of the game.
Gabby Perez pitched well in defeat for Tampa Catholic, going 62⁄3 innings and allowing six hits and three runs.
4A-3: Holy Names survives, 19-17
LAKELAND — After allowing McKeel Academy to score eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game, Academy of the Holy Names was able to win the Class 4A-Region 3 quarterfinal 19-17 by scoring two runs in the top of the eighth.
In a game that saw six lead changes, Holy Names scored six runs in the fifth, three in the sixth on a Sydney Coleman three-run home run and one in the seventh to take a 17-9 advantage. However, Heather Novis’ second home run of the game led an eight-run explosion in the bottom of the seventh to tie it.
Coleman had four hits for Holy Names.
2A-2: Academy at the Lakes rolls
TAMPA — Academy at the Lakes needed a game to prep for an anticipated rematch with Canterbury from last season’s Class 2A state semifinals. AATL had 12 hits en route to a dominating 13-1 Class 2A-Region 2 quarterfinal victory against Lakeside Christian.
“A game like this helps us get our routines together,” Academy at the Lakes coach Jerry English said. “Live pitching really helps. This game gives us a few things to work on at practice heading into our next game. Hopefully we can pitch a little better next time and overall play a little better.”
The Wildcats (15-3) got going early against the Lions (6-13), as they scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning off of five hits, one walk and an error. University of South Florida commit Lauren Evans had two triples in the game to go along with her three runs batted in. AATL pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl pitched a gem, only allowing two hits and striking out nine in the win.
2A-2: Canterbury ousts Cambridge Chr.
ST. PETERSBURG — Canterbury took an early lead and never looked back in defeating Cambridge Christian, 5-0, in a Class 2A-Region 2 quarterfinal.