Here are the capsules for the Pasco County softball teams playing in tonight’s region semifinals. The winners advance to Friday’s region finals.
Land O’ Lakes (18-10) at Palmetto (12-13), 7
This is a rematch from a game the Gators won 8-7 in eight innings last month. Trailing 6-4, Land O’ Lakes scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game and added the winning run an inning later. The defending state finalist Gators have won 10 of their last 11 games. Since that loss to Land O’ Lakes, the Tigers have won three of their last four games, including a 3-1 victory over Sickles, the top-seed in the region.
|Category||Land O’ Lakes||Palmetto|
|Batting average||Makenna Bellaire, .486||Whitney Waldo, .391|
|Home runs||Two tied with five.||Three tied with three.|
|RBIs||Makenna Bellaire, 37||Two tied with 19.|
|ERA||Aliana Mercado, 1.37||Makenna Lee, 2.22|
|Strikeouts||Aliana Mercado, 94||Desiree Aitken, 122|
Mitchell (17-8) at Bloomingdale (20-5), 7
This is a rematch from a game the Bulls won 2-0 two months ago. In that game, Bloomingdale ace Natalie Cable threw a two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts. The Bulls have won six straight games – five via shutouts. The defending state semifinalist Mustangs, meanwhile, are 2-4 in their last six games. But they have some momentum after beating Sarasota 6-3 in the region quarterfinals.
|Batting average||Kinnah Kreidler, .449||Natalie Cable, .472|
|Home runs||Kinnah Kreidler, 5||Natalie Cable, 7|
|RBIs||Kinnah Kreidler, 27||Natalie Cable, 24|
|ERA||Sydney Fowler, 2.08||Natalie Cable, 0.31|
|Strikeouts||Sydney Fowler, 78||Natalie Cable, 303|
River Ridge (15-11) at South Lake (12-5), 7
The Knights snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Springstead 1-0 in the region quarterfinals. Sophie Johnson had two hits and scored the winning run and Jordan Sheets threw a one-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. River Ridge travels to Stuart to take on South Fork, which has won its last three games by a combined 31-3.
|Category||River Ridge||South Lake|
|Batting average||Sophie Johnson, .474||Abbey Moore, .418|
|Home runs||Sophie Johnson, 9||Two tied with two.|
|RBIs||Sophie Johnson, 32||Ashley Anderson, 15|
|ERA||Jordan Sheets, 1.92||Katie Kidwell, 2.87|
|Strikeouts||Jordan Sheets, 126||Katie Kidwell, 99|
Wesley Chapel (15-8) at Lake Wales (18-7), 7
The Wildcats have won five straight to reach the region semifinals. In the quarterfinals, Kadence Means hit solo homer in the sixth that turned out to be the winning run in a 2-1 victory over Hardee in the region quarterfinals. The Highlanders, ranked fifth in the class by MaxPreps, have allowed a combined two runs during their current five-game win streak.
|Category||Wesley Chapel||Lake Wales|
|Batting average||Ava Blakely, .493||Sharon Parker, .417|
|Home runs||Three tied with three.||Three tied with three.|
|RBIs||Kadence Means, 27||Presley Smith, 29|
|ERA||Makenna Rice, 1.48||Macey Murphy, 1.30|
|Strikeouts||Makenna Rice, 21||Macey Murphy, 88|
Academy at the Lakes (14-11) at Canterbury (10-18), 6
For years this was the premier playoff matchup in 2A with the winner often going on to win a state title. The defending state champion Crusaders have won four straight games, including their last three by a combined 36-3. The Wildcats rebounded from a three-game losing to close out the regular season to win their last three by a combined 25-0.
|Category||Academy at the Lakes||Canterbury|
|Batting average||Addy Aliano, .434||Jadah Nicholls, .400|
|Home runs||Molly Blackwood, 3||Two tied with one.|
|RBIs||Molly Blackwood, 23||Alayah Pedersen, 22|
|ERA||Sydney Klein, 3.34||Samantha Beltran, 6.64|
|Strikeouts||Sydney Klein, 122||Samantha Beltran, 42|