Softball: Thursday’s Class 4A state semifinal preview

Softball state semifinals

All games at Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont. Admission is $9 in advance, $12 on the day of the event. Parking is $10 for cars, $25 for buses. 

Hernando (25-4) vs. Plantation American Heritage (15-8), 12

How they got here: Hernando d. Tarpon Springs 17-1, d. Wesley Chapel 14-2, d. Lake Region 4-3. Plantation American Heritage d. Miami St. Brendan 10-0, d. Key West 5-0, d. Pompano Beach 2-1. 

Outlook: The Leopards, ranked No. 3  in the 4A by MaxPreps, are making their second straight state semifinal appearance. Only three players from this year’s team — Solaris Genberg, Hannah Lynch and Olivia Townsend — were in the lineup during Hernando’s last trip to the semifinals in 2019 (the 2020 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic). This year’s Hernando team has won seven straight, outscoring foes by a combined 69-8 during that stretch. But the Leopards can win the close ones, too, as evidenced by its 4-3 victory over Lake Region in the region final. The Patriots, ranked No. 4 in 4A, are making their first state semifinal appearance since 2018 when they went on to beat Land O’ Lakes for their third title in a four-year span. After a 1-7 start this season, American Heritage has gone on to win 14 of its last 15 games, including six straight. 

Team leaders

CategoryHernandoAmerican Heritage
Batting averageSolaris Genberg .500Emily Legette .576
RBIsOlivia Townsend 39Halle Roach 27
Home runsOlivia Townsend 6Emily Legette 11
ERAAva Braswell 1.69Marissa Thompson 2.21
StrikeoutsAva Braswell 70Marissa Thompson 80