Softball: Tampa Bay area report — May 8, 2024

The playoffs start tonight with region quarterfinal games in Classes 4A-2A. The winners advance to the semifinals on Tuesday. Below are the first-round pairings — and capsules– featuring local teams in each class.

Class 4A

For MaxPreps bracket click here.

Region 3
No. 8 Dunedin (11-14) at No. 1 LaBelle (21-6), 7

The Falcons got hot at the right time, beating Boca Ciega and Clearwater for the 4A-10 district title. Now comes the hard part. Dunedin has to travel to play the top seed Cowgirls, who have won seven straight games — five by double digits.

No. 4 Estero (17-7) at No. 5 Robinson (11-10), 7

The Knights snapped a five-game losing streak, routing Blake and Jefferson by a combined 28-5 to take home the 4A-9 title. The Wildcats are to recover after a loss to Bonita Springs in the 4A-12 semifinals ended their three-game win streak.

No. 6 Bonita Springs (11-12) at No. 3 Clearwater (16-7), 7

Despite a loss to Dunedin in the 4A-10 district title game, the Tornadoes were able to clinch the No. 3 seed in the region. The Bullsharks, who won six of their last nine games, played weel enough down the stretch to reach the postseason with an at-large berth.

Class 3A

For MaxPreps bracket click here.

Region 3
No. 8 Lake Placid (11-15) at No. 1 Academy of the Holy Names (17-5), 7

This rematch features the host Jaguars, who secured a 2-0 victory in last month’s game. This victory contributes to the Academy of the Holy Names’ ongoing 11-game winning streak, which notably includes last week’s triumph over their rivals, Berkeley Prep, for the 3A-9 district title. Meanwhile, the 3A-10 district champion Dragons are entering the playoffs on a three-game winning streak.

No. 5 Tampa Catholic (10-10) at No. 4 Fort Myers Bishop Verot (20-6-1), 7

The Crusaders are aiming for more consistency after going 2-5 in their last seven games. The host Vikings overcame some late season struggles to beat Clewiston and Aubrey Rodgers by a combined 30-4 for the 3A-12 district title.

No. 6 Lakeland McKeel Academy at No. 3 Berkeley Prep (20-7), 7

The host Buccaneers, who lost four of their last six games against quality competition, are hoping those tough matchups pay off in the postseason. The Wildcats also are hoping to rebound after going 2-10 in their last 12 games.

Class 2A

For MaxPreps bracket click here.

Region 2
No. 8 Hernando Chistian (15-4) at No. 1 Cornerstone Charter, 7

Since starting 14-0, the Lions have struggled, losing four of their last five games. Getting back on track could be tough against the Ducks, who have won 11 straight games and are ranked second in the class by MaxPreps.

No. 3 Melbourne Central Catholic (11-8) at No. 3 Academy at the Lakes (16-11), 4

The Wildcats, ranked seventh in the class by MaxPreps, had trouble winning the 2A-6 district title, beating Bishop McLaughlin and Seven Rivers Christian by a combined 29-4. The Tigers, meanwhile, rallied from an early 4-0 deficit to beat Holy Trinity Episcopal 6-5 in eight innings for the 2A-8 title.

Region 3
No. 7 Moore Haven (13-9) at No. 2 Admiral Farragut (16-3), 4:30

The Blue Jackets avenged a one-run loss to Bradenton Christian earlier this season by beating the Panthers twice within a two-week span, the last coming via mercy rule (11-1 in five innings) in the 2A-11 title game. The Terriers are to recover from a loss to Fort Myers Evangelical Christian in the 2A-12 semifinals that snapped their three-game win streak.