Softball roundup: Durant wraps up title
PLANT CITY -
Paige Davis tossed a five-hit shutout as Durant claimed the Class 8A-District 7 softball title with a 5-0 victory against Wharton in the completion of a game that was suspended by rain Thursday.
Durant (19-8) hosts East Lake in an 8A-Region 2 quarterfinal game Thursday, while Wharton (12-8) travels to play Palm Harbor University.
Davis retired the first four hitters she faced Friday before Meagan Bell reached on a bunt. After a fielder’s choice and another single, Davis got Sam Hathcoat to fly out to center and end the threat.
With two outs in the sixth and a runner on third, Erica Mattich hit a ground ball to Durant second baseman Payton Lewis. Lewis was able to make the stop, but she ended up in a sitting position. She fired to first to get the runner and preserve the shutout.
“They came out hitting today,” said Davis, who struck out two and walked one. “But my defense did a very good job and kept runners off base.”
Davis gave the Cougars the only run they would need with a two-out single to right in the first inning Thursday. Shannon Bell hit a homer to left as Durant scored three times in the third to take a 4-0 lead before the rain came and forced the game to be suspended. Bell scored again in the fourth inning Friday when she singled to left and advanced to second on a throwing error. Lewis went the other way down the left-field line for a run-scoring double.
“That’s a good team — one of the six in our district that are good,” said Durant coach Matt Carter. “(Davis) did a good job. That’s the third time we played them, and it gets harder to come up with different ways to get them out.”
River Ridge edges Mitchell for 6A-10 title LAND O’LAKES After hitting the game-winning two-run single to clinch the 6A-District 10 championship, River Ridge pitcher Makenzie Goluba responded to coach Ernie Beck’s offer to give his team Monday off by saying “No, I want to practice!”
The Royal Knights will be practicing Monday in preparation for hosting a postseason game Thursday, as River Ridge needed every bit of seven innings to defeat neighborhood-rival Mitchell, 4-3 on Friday night at Sunlake High.
“I started crying on second base,” Goluba said about her winning hit. “It was so perfect. We could not have done it any better as a team. We came out and won it as a team .”
River Ridge (26-1) scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning to gain the early edge. Both teams’ pitchers dominated most of the contest, with the Mustangs’ Jordan Fowler (four strikeouts) and the Royal Knights’ Goluba (six strikeouts) combining to allow two hits through four innings.
The dramatics started in the top of the sixth inning, when Mitchell third baseman Samantha Renzetti doubled home Ryleigh Hill and Paige Davis to put the Mustangs (18-6) up 3-2. River Ridge loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, and with two outs Goluba knocked in two runs to end it.
Gulf wins first district title ZEPHYRHILLS Nikki Sedivy hit two home runs and had five RBIs as Gulf overcame five errors to win its first softball district title. Madison Morlan tossed a complete game to lead the Buccaneers past Pasco, 8-1, in the 5A-District 8 final.
The Pirates (17-11) got on the board first when Lizzy Burchfield scored on a single by Amber Caudill in the bottom of the third inning, but that lead would vanish in the following frame.
Gulf (14-13) took the lead in the fourth, as a two-run blast by Sedivy would prove to be all the run support Morlan would need.
Morlan got out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the first and was in cruise control the rest of the way, giving up six hits while striking out four.
With Gulf leading 5-1 in the top of the seventh, Sedivy smacked her second round-tripper of the night for the Buccaneers. The three-run blast pushed Gulf into the region quarterfinals, where it will host Tavares on Wednesday.
Pasco will travel to Hernando, which won the 5A-7 title by edging Tavares, 4-3.