After taking the District 16-7A title over then-No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas, Cooper City will get another shot at the Raiders to prove it wasn’t a fluke.
Host Cooper City mercy-ruled Northeast 15-0 in three innings in a Region 4-7A quarterfinal Wednesday to advance to a regional-semifinal showdown with its district rival, which was top-ranked in the Miami Herald South Florida poll when the two teams last met.
“At the beginning of the year we knew the regional semifinal was going to be us and St. Thomas,” Cooper City coach Phil Schmalz said. “I think we stack up pretty well. We’ve always had pretty good games against them throughout the years.”
Cowboys starting pitcher Kelly Coulter registered strikeouts for eight of the nine outs she recorded, and only allowed three runners to reach base — one on a hit.
The Cowboys scored three runs in the first inning without recording a hit. The Hurricanes had four errors in the frame, including three on one play that should have been a routine groundout to second but netted a fielding error and two throwing errors to allow batter Sommer Grzybek to circle the bases along with the two runners already on base.
Cooper City (13-11) tacked on four more in the second when leadoff Fallon McLaughlin hit a two-run single and Grzybek, who finished 2 for 3 with four RBI and two runs scored, plated two more with one of her two doubles off the left field wall.
With the game already in hand against the deflated Hurricanes (6-10), Cooper City hit around the order in the third for eight runs to seal the victory.
Cooper City lost twice to Aquinas in the regular season before spoiling the Raiders’ shot at the district title with a 1-0 win.
“I know they’re out to get us,” said Coulter, who no-hit the Raiders in that district final. “I feel like we’re up to the challenge. We’re ready. We’re prepared.”
WP: Kelly Coulter. LP: Brittany Schotanas.
• Region 4-5A quarterfinal — American Heritage 5, Jensen Beach 0: American Heritage pitcher Jenna Goodrich came one out short of securing a perfect game as the host Patriots defeated Jensen Beach in Plantation.
American Heritage will host Pompano Beach in the regional semifinal.
With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Jensen Beach (14-12) first baseman Christiana Marasa lined a 1-0 pitch down the right field line for a single. Goodrich struck out the next batter to preserves the shutout for the Patriots (21-4).
“I did not realize that I had the perfect game until the hit,” Goodrich said. “It was about the team. As long as we win, that’s what matters.”
The first three innings was a pitcher’s dual between Goodrich and Holly Jones of Jensen Beach.
Although the Patriots were able to get runners on base, Jones was able to record key groundball outs to keep the game scoreless.
“We struggled a little bit with the bats,” American Heritage coach Marty Cooper said. “We were a little bit too anxious trying to hit the ball down the left-field line.”
In the fourth, the Patriots broke up the scoreless game on a two-run homer by Melissa Rini that barely stayed fair down the left-field line.