Softball: Class 6A state semifinal preview — May 23, 2024

All games are played at Legends Way Fields in  Clermont. Tickets are $14 in advance and $17 the day of the game via GoFan. Parking is included in admission price.

Class 6A
Bloomingdale (28-1) vs. Pace (26-2), 4 p.m., today

How they got here: Bloomingdale d. Gaither 4-1, d. Palmetto 3-2, d. East Lake 8-1. Pace d. Oviedo 12-2, d. Niceville 9-0, d. Hagerty 4-0.

Stat Leaders
Batting averageNatalie Cable, .473Shelby McKenzie, .629
RBIsPaige Sanchez, 39Shelby McKenzie, 49
Home runsNatalie Cable, 12Shelby McKenzie, 14
ERANatalie Cable, 0.79Jayden Heavener, 0.49
StrikeoutsNatalie Cable, 327Jayden Heavener, 291

This is one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament. Both teams are ranked among the top four overall in the state and among the top twelve nationally by MaxPreps (the Bulls are No. 12 and the Patriots are No. 6). But it is not just the status of the teams that makes this a premier showdown. Alot has to do with the aces — Bloomingdale’s Natalie Cable and Pace’s Jayden Heavener. Both are going to top level colleges and are regarded as two of the nation’s best power pitchers. Cable, a UCLA commit, has a 0.79 ERA and 327 strikeouts. Heavener, an LSU signee, is equally impressive with a 0.49 ERA and 291 strikeouts. Expect a lot of zeroes stretching across the scoreboard. The Bulls missed out on a perfect season with a loss to Palmetto in the 6A-7 district final. But they bounced back to win three straight games in regionals, including a payback win over the Tigers in the semifinals and knocking off East Lake in the final. The offense had its best performance of the postseason in the 8-1 victory over the Eagles. Miranda Dilling, Bryanna Rawlings and Paige Sanchez each had two hits. The Patriots have outscored foes by a combined 50-2 during their current five-game win streak.