Columbia softball holds 3-0 lead entering rain delay


The Columbia Tigers sit in the dugout after the 6A state championship was delayed because of a storm on Saturday in Vero Beach.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 8:51 p.m.

VERO BEACH — Columbia is four innings away from its first state title in softball, but Mother Nature won on Saturday night.

Facts

-The Class 6A softball state championship game featuring Columbia and Pembroke Pines Charter will resume Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
-Follow high school sports editor Larry Savage on Twitter @SunPreps for live updates.

The Tigers have a 3-0 lead over defending state champion Pembroke Pines Charter in the Class 6A softball state championship at the Vero Beach Sports Village. But at 5:49 p.m. on Saturday, after three complete innings, play was suspended because of lightning.

A double dose of storms, with lots of rain and lightning, kept the game suspended until it was ultimately called for the night just after 9 p.m.

It will resume this morning at 9:30. The 8A championship, pitting Cypress Bay and Coral Reef, will also be played at the same time, but at a different field.

Today's 6A title game may also be played at a different field than the one used Saturday depending on the condition of the fields.

“I was kind of thinking we were on a roll,” Columbia coach Jimmy Williams said. “We had our mindsets right and we were playing really good. I kind of hate it, we have to do this all over again tomorrow. But the good thing is, it is a shorter game. It will be a four-inning game, and we are going to try to treat it like it is 0-0. We are at the right part of our batting order.”

Brittany Morgan, the No. 9 hitter, will be at bat first this morning for the Tigers, then it will go to the top of the lineup.

“We already got a sneak peek at their pitching, and will meet in the morning and work on hitting that change-up really hard,” Williams said. “Hopefully we can get a couple more runs from our bats.”

Like it did in its 7-1 state semifinal win over Bradenton Lakewood Ranch on Friday, Columbia (27-4) got things started early.

After leadoff batter Lacey King walked to open the game, Kayli Kvistad singled with one out and stole second base. Freshman Tatum Morgan then followed with a two-run line shot past Pembroke Pines' first baseman Camila Lopez and down the right-field line for a 2-0 Tigers lead.

Columbia added another run in the second, again courtesy of Tatum Morgan. Lauren Eaker and Brittany Morgan, the No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, both singled, King moved them up a base with a sacrifice and Kvistad walked to load the bases with two outs. Tatum Morgan then drove in her third run with an infield single, and it was 3-0 Columbia.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars (21-3) were struggling to get a hit off Tiger sophomore starter Erin Anderson, who tossed three hitless innings, just finishing off the third when play was suspended.

“The good thing is Erin might finish,” Williams said. “She only has 12 outs to go. Ashley (Shoup) is ready in case we need her.”

Pembroke Pines starter Claire Blount (17-3) had given up five hits with three walks in three innings before play was stopped.

“They have only had two base-runners so far,” Williams said. “I would rather be three up than three down, I can tell you that. I think we can get a couple more runs.”

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