Softball regional final previews


Columbia left-fielder Keeley Murray (below) and the Tigers are hosting their second regional final in the last three seasons. (Cyndi Chambers / Correspondent)

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 7:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 at 3:02 a.m.

Regional Finals

Friday

All games at 7 p.m.

Class 6A-Region 1

Who: Lynn Haven Mosley (21-7) at No. 4 Columbia (25-4)

How they got here: Columbia def. Orange Park Oakleaf 3-1 in Tuesday's regional semifinals, def. Middleburg 2-1 in the regional quarterfinals; Mosley def. No. 1 Niceville 5-3 in the regional semifinals, def. Pace 4-2 in the regional quarterfinals.

What's next: The winner will face the Region 3 champion, either No. 10 Bradenton Lakewood Ranch or No. 2 New Port Richey River Ridge, in the Class 6A state semifinals on May 10 in Vero Beach (time TBA).

Extra bases: For the second time in three years, the Tigers are hosting a regional final, with a berth to the state tournament on the line. The last time, in 2011, Columbia was routed at home, 13-2, by Niceville, which went on to win the state title. The Tigers would certainly like to avenge that. UF commit Kayli Kvistad had two of Columbia's five hits on Tuesday, including a double. Sophomore starting pitcher Erin Anderson tossed six scoreless innings before giving up a run in the seventh. Sophomore Ashley Shoup came in relief with the bases loaded and struck out Oakleaf's No. 3 hitter, preserving the victory. Junior centerfielder Brandy Morgan has provided excellent defense all season, and the Tigers haven't committed an error in the state playoffs. The visiting Dolphins, who hadn't won a playoff game until this season, pulled off the biggest upset in the program's history, upsetting district-rival Niceville, the No. 2 overall team in the state according to Miracle Sports, who had won 19 straight games and lost for just the second time at home in three years.

Class 6A-Region 2

Who: Melbourne Eau Gallie (19-10) at Gainesville (19-8)

How they got here: Gainesville def. Lecanto 2-1 in Tuesday's regional semifinals, def. Inverness Citrus 9-1 in the regional quarterfinals; Eau Gallie def. Melbourne Palm Bay 15-0 in the regional semifinals, def. Deltona 12-3 in the regional quarterfinals.

What's next: The winner will face the Region 4 champion, either No. 6 Naples or Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy/No. 7 Pembroke Pines Charter, in the Class 6A state semifinals on May 10 in Vero Beach (time TBA).

Extra bases: This has been a season of firsts for the host Hurricanes, who won their first district title since 2008, won their first regional semifinal game ever and are in their first regional final. Can they take the next step and reach their first state tournament? Freshman pitcher Katie Chronister has been solid on the hill for the ‘Canes and tossed a three-hitter with an unearned run in Tuesday's regional semifinal win at Lecanto. Senior Stephanie Caudle, Taylor Wooden, Makailah Brown and Chronister have provided most of the offense at the plate for GHS. Eau Gallie, Class 4A state champions in 2011 and vying for its seventh trip to the state tournament, avenged its district final loss to Melbourne Palm Bay in a big way, getting two three-run homers by Nicole Spaethe and Mackenzie Conley among its 12 hits.

Class 5A-Region 1

Who: Suwannee (16-9) at No. 5 Ponte Vedra (22-5)

How they got here: Suwannee def. Panama City Rutherford 5-0 in Tuesday's regional semifinals, def. Pensacola West Florida 5-0 in the regional quarterfinals; Ponte Vedra def. Baker County 8-7 in the regional semifinals, def. Jacksonville Bishop Kenny 6-0 in the regional quarterfinals.

What's next: The winner will play the Region 3 champion, either Lake Wales or Tampa Blake/Bradenton Bayshore, in Wednesday's Class 5A state semifinals in Vero Beach (time TBA).

Extra bases: The visiting Bulldogs are on a incredible roll, winners of nine straight, with consecutive state playoff shutouts (over No. 9 Rutherford, No. 10 West Florida) to advance to their first regional final. Junior Aubrey Bryant (6-1) has thrown 13 scoreless innings. Offensively, Suwannee has one of the area's top players in Stetson signee Jessie TenBroeck, tops in the area in stolen bases, who went 3-for-4 at the plate on Tuesday. Sophomore Timberly Steichen had a three-run homer against Rutherford and had two hits, including a double, and three RBIs against West Florida. Sophomore Morgan Podany drove in five runs with a three-run homer and a two-run double as the Sharks held off Baker County to reach their first regional final.

Class 4A-Region 2

Who: No. 9 Titusville Astronaut (24-3) at No. 2 Bradford (27-2)

How they got here: Bradford def. Keystone Heights 7-0 in Tuesday's regional semifinals, def. Bushnell South Sumter 3-2 in the regional quarterfinals; Astronaut def. Cocoa Beach 3-2 in the regional semifinals, def. Orlando Lake Highland Prep 13-0 in the regional quarterfinals.

What's next: The winner will face the Region 4 champion, either No. 6 Coral Springs Charter or No. 1 Miami Gulliver Prep, in the Class 4A state semifinals in Vero Beach on May 10 (time TBA).

Extra bases: The host Tornadoes, winners of nine straight, are in their first regional final, getting a no-hitter from junior pitcher Ashton Adkins in Tuesday's win over Keystone Heights. Bradford was two outs away from elimination in the regional quarterfinals, down 2-1 to South Sumter, but strung together four straight hits, with Jordan Davis lining a double down the left field line for the game winner. The Tornadoes had 11 hits on Tuesday, with Adkins getting a triple. Astronaut is also making its first regional final appearance, getting a solo homer from Kylie Young and a game-winning hit from pitcher Hannah Denny with two outs in the seventh to beat No. 4 Cocoa Beach.

Class 3A-Region 1

Who: No. 3 Jacksonville Bishop Snyder (25-4) at No. 4 P.K. Yonge (27-2)

How they got here: P.K. Yonge def. Oviedo The Master's Academy 18-5 in Wednesday's regional semifinals, def. Daytona Beach Father Lopez 15-0 in the regional quarterfinals; Bishop Snyder def. Tallahassee North Florida Christian 8-0 in the regional semifinals on Tuesday, def. Tallahassee Maclay 13-0 in the regional quarterfinals

What's next: The winners will face the Region 4 champion, either St. Petersburg Shorecrest Prep or No. 6 West Palm Beach King's Academy/Moore Haven, in Wednesday's Class 3A state semifinals in Vero Beach (time TBA).

Online broadcast: Audio only at www.theprepzone.com

Extra bases: This is a rematch of last year's regional final, played in Jacksonville, and won by Bishop Snyder, 6-2. The Cardinals went on to play for the state title, losing to American Heritage of Delray Beach. This is a great matchup between two dominating pitchers in P.K. Yonge junior Kalen McGill (24-2) and Arkansas signee Sydney Wright (24-4) of Bishop Snyder. Wright tossed a no-hitter on Tuesday with 10 strikeouts while McGill had six strikeouts in five innings along with two hits and two RBIs in Wednesday's rout of The Master's Academy. Both Kassidy Kenard and Sara Hendrix each had three hits for the Blue Wave, who have won 16 straight games. Senior Shelby Wood had a triple and double for the Cardinals in their regional semifinal win.

Class 1A-Region 2

Who: No. 2 Lafayette (20-5) at No. 9 Bell (16-11)

How they got here: Lafayette def. Hilliard 10-8 in Tuesday's regional semifinals; Bell def. Live Oak Melody Christian 20-3 in the regional semifinals.

What's next: The winner will face the Region 1 champion, either No. 7 Jay or Chipley, in Wednesday's Class 1A state semifinals in Vero Beach (time TBA).

Extra bases: These two teams met a year ago in the regional semifinals in Mayo, with Lafayette winning 11-0 en route to its first state title. Today's game will be in Gilchrist County and the Bulldogs are looking for their first state tournament berth since 1999. Bell has won six straight games, including Tuesday's rout over Melody Christian. Sophomore pitcher Shelbie Hutto (12-4) has pitched two complete games, shutting out Hilliard (1-0) in the District 6 final. Katelyn Blong, who went 2-for-3 Tuesday with three runs and three RBIs, is batting over .500 on the season with 12 doubles. Lafayette is led by College of Central Florida signee Lindsay O'Steen, who had a bases-clearing hit to spark a five-run fourth inning Tuesday, also won her 13th game on the mound with seven strikeouts. Freshman Lacey Swafford went 3-for-4 at the plate, with an RBI and a run scored.

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