Softball: Johnson, Alonso get even with Durant
TAMPA - Every game between the softball teams in Class 8A-District 7 is pretty much a coin flip. "From the top of the district to the bottom, anybody can beat anybody," Durant coach Matt Carter said. "You have to be on your game every single time you play." Case in point was Alonso's 6-5 victory against Durant on Friday night, a win that avenged a 5-4, 11-inning Durant victory earlier this season. "For us, this was HUGE and that is in capital letters," Alonso coach Robin Kopp said. "It was important to us because of the close game we lost last time (to Durant). We showed some character with this victory."On Friday, Alonso (14-4, 5-3) hung tough after grabbing a lead (4-1 in the third inning), immediately losing the lead (5-4 in the fourth), and then coming back in the sixth with the winning two runs. Third baseman Kiara Johnson struck the winning blow with a two-run double that sailed deep into the right-center field gap. After that, Alonso pitcher Erika Shick shut down the Cougars with a three-up, three-down final inning. For Shick, the victory was particularly satisfying after throwing all 11 innings in the early-season loss to Durant. "I have to give all the credit to my defense," said Shick, who scattered 11 hits in the complete-game victory. "My defense picks me up. They keep my going." For Durant (14-3, 6-2) it was its second-consecutive loss, both against district opponents. Bloomingdale defeated Durant, 2-0, on Tuesday. "We came out strong to start the season but a lot of those victories came in close games against district teams," Carter said. "It just shows you again how tough our district is."