HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Evans' consistency now offers Blue Wave some pop at the plate
Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 11:27 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 11:27 p.m.
Garland Evans has always been a pretty consistent hitter for the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave softball team, but as a junior has added more pop to her bat.
She exhibited that Friday in a District 5-4A showdown with Bradford in a battle between two of the state's best teams.
Hitless for six innings and down 2-0, Evans opened P.K. Yonge's last at-bat with a double to center off Tornadoes' pitcher Ashton Adkins, snapping her no-hit bid. That started a three-run rally for the Blue Wave, who pulled out a 3-2 win to stay perfect at 10-0 on the season.
“She has been our most consistent hitter throughout the course of the season,” said P.K. Yonge coach Paul Silverman. “She is at the No. 2 spot for us and can do a lot of things. She has always been a good hitter, but what she has added this year is power.”
Garland is hitting .516 on the season with five double and two triples, and ranks second on the team with 13 RBIs.
“Ashton is such an effective pitcher and Garland is always an aggressive hitter, but her swings were very defensive the first two times she faced her,” Silverman said.
“That is not what we needed then, down two runs in our final at bats. We needed her to drive the ball and thankfully for us she hit a double.”
Earlier in the week, the centerfielder drove in five runs with three hits, which included a double and triple, and scored three runs in a 15-1 win over Buchholz.
“She has had a significant number of multi base hits this season,” Silverman said. “It shows she is getting stronger.”
Ashtin Strickland, Santa Fe: In 21 innings, the junior pitcher struck out 43 to go 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA while batting .300 with a home run, double, three runs scored and three RBIs. She helped her team to the Santa Fe Invitational title with a 4-1 record for the week.
Julian Gonzalez, Newberry: The senior third baseman went 4 for 8 at the plate with four runs scored and three RBIs as the Panthers went 3-0 for the week.
Track and field
Logan Cutts, Bell: The junior set a school record in the 800 meters at 2:05 for the Bulldogs, while also running on the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. The 4x800 relay also set a school record.
Het Patel, Eastside: The sophomore attacker had four goals and four assists in wins against P.K. Yonge and The International Community School for the Rams.
Kaitlyn Burke, P.K. Yonge: The sophomore catcher went 3 for 6 for the week with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored in wins over Buchholz and Bradford.
Shelbee Blackburn, Santa Fe: The junior hit .533 with a home run, double, three runs scored and three RBIs for the 11-5 Raiders.
Mika Ward, Bell: The sophomore catcher went 9 of 13 at the plate with three RBIs, four doubles, home run and four runs scored at the Santa Fe Invitational.
Hannah Ogle, Interlachen: In two games last week, the senior went 5 for 5 with three doubles, seven runs scored and four RBIs. She was also walked five times and was hit by a pitch, and has reached base 21 straight times.
Ashlyn Curtis, Eastside: The junior went 3 for 4 against Lake Weir and is batting .552 on the season.
Jaylyn Lewis, Eastside: The sophomore had two hits against Lake Weir and is hitting .440 on the season.
Mary Alice Klenk, St. Francis: In three games last week, the sophomore hit .670 with two triples and nine RBIs.
Kylie Maris, St. Francis: The junior hit .420 with five runs scored, one triple and four stolen bases in three games last week for the Wolves.
Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Monday to (352) 374-5050 between 12-4 p.m.