Softball regional semifinals previews


Gainesville head coach Pete Mariano talks with baserunner Amanda Donovan at third base against Citrus during the Class 6A regional quarterfinal on Thursday in Gainesville. The Hurricanes (18-8) travel to Lecanto (17-12) on Tuesday.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 11:45 p.m.

Regional semifinals

Tuesday

All games at 7 p.m.

Class 6A-Region 1

Who: Orange Park Oakleaf (18-10) at No. 4 Columbia (24-4)

How they got here: Columbia def. Middleburg 2-1 in last week's regional quarterfinals; Oakleaf def. Jacksonville Atlantic Coast 5-2.

What's next: Columbia would host Niceville or Lynn Haven Mosley in Friday's regional final; Oakleaf would also host either school.

Extra bases: The host Tigers, who have won back-to-back one-run games, are looking for their first regional final berth since 2011. Columbia, which is led by junior UF commit Kayli Kvistad (.600 batting average with 6 homers, 9 doubles and 35 RBIs), beat five ranked teams in winning the Doc 4 Life Varsity Showdown in Ocala earlier this month. The visiting Knights have won five of their last six games, upsetting 4A No. 2 Bradford and 6A No. 9 Atlantic Coast in last week's quarterfinals.

Class 6A-Region 2

Who: Gainesville (18-8) at Lecanto (17-12)

How they got here: Gainesville def. Inverness Citrus 9-1 in last week's regional quarterfinals; Lecanto def. Groveland South Lake 4-2.

What's next: Gainesville would host Melbourne Palm Bay or Melbourne Eau Gallie in Friday's regional final; Lecanto would play at Palm Bay or host Eau Gallie

Extra bases: The visiting Hurricanes are looking to make their deepest run in the state playoffs with a win. Last week's win over Citrus was Gainesville's first playoff victory since 2006, on the heels of its first district title since 2008. The host Panthers are in their third straight playoff and are also looking to advance to the regional finals for the first time.

Class 5A-Region 1

Who: No. 9 Panama City Rutherford (18-7) at Suwannee (15-9)

How they got here: Suwannee def. Pensacola West Florida 5-0 in last week's regional quarterfinals; Rutherford def. Crawfordville Wakulla 1-0 in nine innings.

What's next: Suwannee would play at Ponte Vedra or Glen St. Mary Baker County in Friday's regional final; Rutherford would host Ponte Vedra or play at Baker County.

Extra bases: The host Bulldogs are looking to reach their first regional final as are the visiting Rams, who won their first regional contest in last week's win over Wakulla. Suwannee is led by senior Jessie TenBroeck (.563, 8 doubles, 46 stolen bases) and freshman Jordan Roberts (.449, 7 home runs).

Class 4A-Region 2

Who: Keystone Heights (12-11) at No. 2 Bradford (26-2)

How they got here: Bradford def. Bushnell South Sumter 3-2 in last week's regional quarterfinals; Keystone Heights def. Mount Dora 2-1.

What's next: Bradford would play at Cocoa Beach or host Titusville Astronaut in Friday's regional final; Keystone Heights would play at either Cocoa Beach or Astronaut.

Extra bases: This is a rematch of last year's regional semifinal, won by the visiting Indians, who went on to reach the state tournament. Bradford, which has won eight straight games, rallied with two runs in the top of the seventh with one out, with sophomore Jordan Davis delivering a bases-loaded, two-run double to beat South Sumter, 3-2, last week. Sophomre Taylor Cruce has an area-leading 12 home runs and 41 RBIs. Keystone Heights, which has lost all three meetings against the Tornadoes including the district final (4-3), is led by senior Kelsey Waters (.475).

Class 3A-Region 1

Who: No. 4 P.K. Yonge (26-2) at Oviedo Master's Academy (11-9)

How they got here: P.K. Yonge def. Daytona Beach Father Lopez 15-0 in last week's regional quarterfinals; Master's Academy def. Oak Hall 10-0.

What's next: P.K. Yonge would host Jacksonville Bishop Snyder or play at North Florida Christian in Friday's regional final; Master's Academy would do the same.

Extra bases: This is a rematch of last year's regional semifinal, won by the visiting Blue Wave 15-0 at their place. Today's match will be in Oviedo, the same place where Master's Academy eliminated Oak Hall. P.K. Yonge is led by junior pitcher Kalen McGill (23-3, 0.83 ERA; .419 at plate, 6 homers, 8 doubles, 31 RBIs). The Blue Wave, who have won 15 straight, are possibly heading to a showdown with No. 3 Bishop Snyder in Gainesville on Friday.

Class 1A-Region 2

Who: Hilliard (16-9) at No. 2 Lafayette (19-5)

How they got here: Lafayette def. Live Oak Melody Christian 15-0 in the District 5 final; Hilliard lost to Bell 1-0 in the District 6 final.

What's next: Lafayette would play at Bell or host Melody Christian in Friday's regional final; Hilliard would play at either school.

Extra bases: The host Hornets are the defending state champions and just recently dropped to No. 2 in this year's state rankings by Miracle Sports. Lafayette has a pair of losses to 6A No. 4 Columbia, 4A No. 2 Bradford and 5A Suwannee, all playing today in the regional semifinals. Senior Lindsay O'Steen, a College of Central Florida signee, is hitting .486 with an area-best 45 RBIs, 8 homers. Sophomore Sydney Shows ranks second in area with a .622 batting average. The visiting Red Flashes are making their first playoff appearance since 2009.

Who: Melody Christian (17-7) at No. 9 Bell (14-8)

How they got here: Bell def. Hilliard 1-0 in the District 6 final; Melody Christian lost 15-0 to Lafayette in the District 5 final.

What's next: Bell would host Lafayette or Hilliard in Friday's regional final; Melody Christian would host Hilliard or play at Lafayette.

Extra bases: The host Bulldogs are making their second straight regional semifinal appearance after winning their second straight District 6 title. Bell is led at the plate by two underclassmen in sophomore Katelyn Bong (.494, 11 doubles) and freshman Mika Ward (.508). Visiting Melody Christian is making its first playoff appearance.

Class 1A-Region 4

Who: Dixie County (12-14) at No. 6 Pierson Taylor (20-7)

How they got here: Dixie County lost 11-1 to Baldwin in the District 7 final; Taylor def. The Villages 5-3 in the District 8 final.

What's next: Dixie County would host The Villages or play at Baldwin in Friday's regional final; Taylor would host either school.

Extra bases: The visiting Bears, who stunned defending state semifinalists Union County in the district semifinals, are making their first playoff appearance since 2007. Sophomore Jolene Sanders has a team-leading 27 RBIs and three homers for Dixie County. The host Wildcats are making their fourth straight playoff appearance but hasn't won a postseason game since 1994.

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