HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL

Roundup: Gainesville prevails in a matchup of Hurricanes


Gainesville coach Pete Mariano celebrates as Taylor Wooden rounds the bases after hitting a home run against Citrus during the Class 6A regional quarterfinal on Thursday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 12:10 a.m.

The battle of the Hurricanes went to Gainesville in the Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinals at Gainesville High School as the home team defeated Citrus 9-1.

Gainesville starting pitcher Katie Chronister struggled early as a base hit and three wild pitches brought home Citrus' April Desomma in the top of the first to give Citrus a 1-0 lead.

“I just told her to settle down,” Gainesville coach Pete Mariano said.

“She's a freshman, and this is a big game. I don't think we've been in this situation before. This win for us is the first time Gainesville has reached that point, and I think we all had some jitters.”

Gainesville answered back in the bottom of the frame. After Amanda Donovan and Brittany Lewis walked to lead off the inning, Stephanie Caudle singled to load the bases and clean-up hitter Makailah Brown followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.

Third baseman Taylor Wooden stepped into the batter's box next.

“I've been looking for Taylor just to really unwind and just relax a little bit,” Mariano said.

Wooden unwound into a bases-clearing triple that broke open the game 4-1 for Gainesville. She added a double in the fifth inning and a massive two-run blast in the sixth inning to put the game away.

“She is capable of doing that a lot. She doesn't have to swing hard. She got the pitches she wanted and just drilled them. And that's all it is with her. She just needs to take her time, look for her pitch, stay within herself, and she's going to hit the ball that well,” Mariano said.

Chronister gave Citrus little hope throughout the rest of the game as she allowed just three Citrus hits on the night.

“She hit location pretty well. She threw a lot of fastballs on the inside corner and she just stayed there,” Mariano said.

Gainesville (18-8) will travel to Lecanto on Tuesday for the regional semifinals.

COLUMBIA 2, MIDDLEBURG 1: At Lake City, Brandy Morgan scored on a squeeze bunt by Hollianne Dohrn in the bottom of the sixth inning for the game-winner as the No. 4 Tigers slipped past Middleburg in the Class 6A, Region 1 quarterfinals.

Morgan, who had two hits in the game, opened the sixth with a double and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt. Junior Kayli Kvistad, a UF commit, had three hits for Columbia.

“We are excited to win another one-run game,” said Columbia coach Jimmy Williams. “We seemed to have good focus at the end of the game. Morgan's lead-off double was big for us.”

Tigers relief pitcher Erin Anderson (12-2) picked up the win. Middlburg's only run came on a home run in the top of the sixth, tying the game at 1-1.

The Tigers (24-4) advance to the regional semifinals on Tuesday, when they will host Orange Park Oakleaf, a 5-1 winner over Atlantic Coast on Thursday.

“Pitching is always better at this level and runs are hard to come by,” Williams said. “Our defense really played solid tonight and really won the game for us.”

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