Here are the capsules for area softball teams playing in tonight’s region finals. The winners advance to next week’s state semifinals.
Mitchell (18-8) at Land O’ Lakes (19-10), 7
An epic rivalry matchup between a defending semifinalist (the Mustangs) and a defending state finalist (the Gators). This is the third meeting between the teams. Mitchell won the first two, including a 9-2 victory in the semifinals of the 6A-5 district semifinals. Though the Mustangs are undefeated against their Pasco County rival this season, Land O’ Lakes gets to host because it has a higher RPI ranking. In the region semifinals, Mitchell outlasted Bloomingdale, scoring three runs in the ninth inning to win 7-4. Madisen Antioco, Sydney Fowler and Vanessa Neptune each had three hits for the Mustangs. The Gators also put up big numbers in their 7-3 semifinal victory over Palmetto. Land O’ Lakes ended up with 10 hits, including two each from Makenna Bellaire, Mia Fields and Jadyn Spencer.
|Category||Mitchell||Land O’ Lakes|
|Batting average||Sydney Fowler, .435||Makenna Bellaire, .488|
|Home runs||Kinnah Kreidler, 5||Two tied with five.|
|RBIs||Kinnah Kreidler, 27||Makenna Bellaire, 38|
|ERA||Sydney Fowler, 2.10||Aliana Mercado, 1.61|
|Strikeouts||Sydney Fowler, 87||Aliana Mercado, 100|
East Bay (16-12) at Seminole (20-1), 7
The Warhawks, ranked third in the class by MaxPreps, are having the best season in school history and are trying to reach the state semifinals for the first time. In the region semifinals, Seminole knocked off rival Osceola for the time this season. Peyton Hoffman scored three runs, Davia Schweitzer drove in two runs and Randi Tubbs had two hits to lead the Warhawks on offense. Mackenzie Duford also had five strikeouts on the mound in the 4-3 victory. This should be a strong pitching matchup. The Indians advanced with a 4-0 victory over Northeast in the semifinals. East Bay ace Elana Roush threw a one-hit shutout with 17 strikeouts. Aisha Duncan, Gaby Miller and Roush each had two hits and Kimora O’Kimosh drove in two runs to lead the offense.
|Batting average||Elana Roush, .351||Peyton Hoffman, .474|
|Home runs||Jensen Nelson, 2||Brittany Gingrich, 1|
|RBIs||Gaby Miller, 16||Randi Tubbs, 16|
|ERA||Elana Roush, 1.67||Mackenzie Duford, 0.70|
|Strikeouts||Elana Roush, 290||Mackenzie Duford, 166|
River Ridge (16-11) at South Lake (17-11), 7
This is a rematch from a game the Royal Knights won 4-1 in March. After losing a pair of one-run games, River Ridge has won two straight by a run, including a 4-3 victory over South Fork in the region semifinals. Emma Galuba, Sophie Johnson and Lauren Kreshon each had two hits for the Royal Knights. To reach the state semifinals, River Ridge will have to get past the Eagles, who are ranked fifth in the class by MaxPreps and have recorded shutouts in their first two playoff games.
|Category||River Ridge||South Lake|
|Batting average||Sophie Johnson, .476||Nia Debenedittis, .386|
|Home runs||Sophie Johnson, 9||Three tied with one.|
|RBIs||Sophie Johnson, 33||Three tied with 12.|
|ERA||Jordan Sheets, 1.97||Alanna O’Brien, 2.44|
|Strikeouts||Jordan Sheets, 131||Alanna O’Brien, 114|
Academy of the Holy Names (15-7) at Calvary Christian (21-6), 7
This is a rematch from a game the Warriors won 6-5 in March with the go-ahead run coming in the top of the seventh inning. Both teams got payback for district final losses in the region semifinals. The defending champion Jaguars knocked off rival Berkeley Prep 6-5. Genevieve Chiellini and Keala Hollenkamp each had three hits and Camryn Feast was 2-for-2 for Academy of the Holy Names. The Warriors, ranked fifth in the class by MaxPreps, got past Parrish Community 2-0. Morgen Talley threw a two-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts and had a pair of doubles. Elizabeth George also had two hits and an RBI.
|Category||Academy of the Holy Names||Calvary Christian|
|Batting average||Camryn Feast, .479||Morgen Talley, .493|
|Home runs||Two tied with three.||Morgen Talley, 8|
|RBIs||Maisi Sigler, 24||Morgen Talley, 33|
|ERA||Keala Hollenkamp, 2.00||Mackenzie Bergstrom, 1.18|
|Strikeouts||Keala Hollenkamp, 128||Morgen Talley, 112|