Top-seeded Bishop McLaughlin pounds Tampa Prep
TAMPA - Huddled near the first base line inside the University of Tampa softball field, Bishop McLaughlin players were clear of their accomplishment. The chant, "Undefeated!" sailed into the air as the team broke its huddle, celebrating a five-inning, mercy-rule shortened 17-0 victory against Tampa Prep on Tuesday night. The win represented a season sweep of the Terrapins as well as a 6-0 record in Class 2A-District 1, locking up the No. 1 seed for next month's district tournament. "That's the first time that's ever happened at Bishop," Hurricanes coach John Yaratch said. "I'm extremely proud of them. They're just working hard."Another first: Bishop McLaughlin had never beaten Tampa Prep (4-7) in five previous seasons. The win also ended a four-game losing streak in which Bishop McLaughlin helped opponents by playing error-prone softball. Tuesday night was a much different story. The Hurricanes (10-7) started with a 1-0 first-inning advantage. The lead grew in the third when a wild pitch and a walk forced in consecutive runs. Amy Szymanowski's grounder to first scored Alexandra Muscolina and a single by Missy Overbeck plated Spencer Valdespino and Andrea Niggebrugge (cq) for a 6-0 advantage. In that same inning, Isabel Suarez-Solar's double to right field scored Megan Malone and Katie Hellman. One batter later, Jessica Pinto added run No. 9 with a single to center field. The Hurricanes added seven runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth.