P.K. Yonge softball falls to Bishop Snyder

P.K. Yonge head coach Paul Silverman talks to players during a 7-1 win for Jacksonville's Bishop Snyder High School over P.K. Yonge in the 3A regional softball final in Gainesville, Fla., on Monday, May 6, 2013.

Brett Le Blanc/Correspondent
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.

All season long, as P.K. Yonge piled on win after win in softball, the Blue Wave knew in order to get to the state tournament, their first in 10 years, they had to beat Jacksonville Bishop Snyder.

They couldn’t do it last year on the Cardinals’ home turf.

And on Monday, in the Class 3A, Region 1 final on its own field, P.K. Yonge again couldn’t beat Bishop Snyder, thanks to another outstanding pitching performance from its ace Sydney Wright.

Wright, an Arkansas signee, scattered seven hits with 11 strikeouts and went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs as the Cardinals dominated the Blue Wave, 7-1, to advance to their second straight state tournament.

P.K. Yonge, which had its 15-game winning streak snapped, finished the season 27-3.

Bishop Snyder (26-4), state finalists a year ago, seized control from the start and never let go. The Cardinals totaled 12 hits, led by Andrea Neswiacheny with three singles and Ashley Neal, who had two hits, including a double, and three RBIs.

Lethal at the plate, Bishop Snyder was just as lethal on the mound with Wright. She gave up two hits in one inning once, allowed a runner on third just three times and had seven of her strikeouts in the final three innings, ringing up three in the final frame.

“The want to was there, we worked hard, but sometimes you come up against an outstanding team and that is what we did tonight,” said Blue Wave coach Paul Silverman. “Sydney threw a great game tonight. When she is throwing her change-up for strikes, like she was tonight, she is extremely tough.

“They put the ball in play, they hit it hard. They really did everything they needed to do.”

P.K. Yonge, uncharacteristically, had four errors, three between the fifth and sixth innings when Bishop Snyder scored four of its runs, to put the game away. Especially the way Wright was pitching.

“We were in a good frame of mind,” Silverman said. “I attribute it more to they put the ball in play consistently, hit the ball hard and created those errors. When you get behind you press a little bit, and that may have happened. We were truly outplayed. They were an outstanding team.”

Wright had a run-scoring double in the first, scoring Tasha Kistler, who coaxed a leadoff walk, for a 1-0 Cardinal lead. Neal ripped a two-run double in the left-center gap to push Snyder’s lead to 3-0.

Courtesy runner Kathryn Butts, running for Taylor Knight, scored on a single by senior Katie O’Dell in the fifth for P.K. Yonge’s only run.

Sara Hendrix went 3-for-4 for the Blue Wave, who will only lose O’Dell to graduation, one of the area’s top hitters.

“Bishop Snyder is a very good team and they outplayed us tonight,” said an emotional O’Dell. “But I wouldn’t trade anything about this team or this season. This is like my second family and they mean the world to me.”

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