Softball: Tampa Bay area report — May 17, 2024

The softball playoffs continue tonight with region final games. The winners advance to the state semifinals next week in Clermont. Below are the third-round pairings — and capsules– featuring local teams in each class.

Class 7A

Region 2
No. 2 Steinbrenner (21-8) at No. 1 Windermere (22-4), 4:30

A solid matchup between the top two teams in the region. The 7A-7 district champion Warriors have won five straight games, four by two runs or less. In the region semifinals, Steinbrenner got past Durant 4-3 in nine innings. Avery Derenches, Sophie Luaces and Lilly Patton each drove in runs. Patton also threw seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits while striking out six. The host Wolverines, ranked first in the class by MaxPreps, have allowed a combined two runs during their current five-game win streak.

Class 6A

Region 2
No. 2 East Lake (25-2) at No. 1 Bloomingdale (27-1), 7

An anticipated showdown between two of the top teams in the area. The Bulls beat the Eagles 8-3 at the Lady Canes Invitational in their only regular season meeting. Bloomingdale, ranked No. 6 in the class, No. 7 overall in the state and No. 14 nationally by MaxPreps, got payback for its lone loss this season by beating Palmetto 3-2 in the region semifinals. Down 2-1, the Bulls took the lead for good by scoring twice in the top of the sixth inning. Miranda Dilling provided the spark on offense with a double and two RBIs. Natalie Cable threw a three-hitter with 15 strikeouts. East Lake, ranked No. 7 in the class and No. 9 overall in the state, extended its win streak to 11 games with a 3-2 victory over Wiregrass Ranch in the region semifinals. Lucy Mondock recorded five strikeouts on the mound and went 2-for-2 with an RBI at the plate to lead the Eagles.

Class 5A

Region 2
No. 2 Osceola (19-10) at No. 1 Horizon (22-5), 7

The Warriors exacted revenge for last year’s playoff loss to Auburndale by winning the rematch 2-1 in the region semifinals. Aliyah Lai threw a four-hitter and allowed one unearned run. Lisa Cisliek went 2-for-3 with a double and Destani Marr drove in a run. Now, another rematch awaits with a matchup against the top seed Hawks, who Osceola beat in last year’s region quarterfinals.

Class 3A

Region 3
No. 2 Calvary Christian (21-5) at No. 1 Academy of the Holy Names (19-5), 7

The teams have accounted for the last three state titles in the class. This is their first meeting of the season. Last year, the Warriors won both matchups, including a victory in the region semifinals en route to their second straight state title. Calvary Christian has won 12 straight games and posted five consecutive shutouts. The latest came in a 2-0 victory over Berkeley Prep in the region semifinals. Morgen Talley recorded a five-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and had a homer that scored both runs. The Jaguars had to rally to beat Fort Myers Bishop Verot in eight innings in the semifinals to extend their win streak to 13. Keala Hollenkamp gave up four and struck out 13. And Cameron Powell and Masi Sigler each drove in runs.

Class 2A

Region 2
No. 3 Academy at the Lakes (17-11) at No. 1 Cornerstone Charter (26-3), 7

The Wildcats overcame a three-game losing streak to close out the regular season by winning their last four games. In the region semifinals, Academy at the Lakes blanked Foundation Academy 4-0. Shannon Kendall threw a two-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and had a run-scoring double on offense. Adelaide Aliano, Alexis Gattuso and Kiana Wright each had two hits. To keep their momentum going, the Wildcats will have to get past the Ducks, who are ranked third in the class by MaxPreps and have won 13 straight games.