Twice Tuesday night Westminster Christian’s softball team took a moment to find its composure and get out of a tough situation.
Twice it worked.
The second time came in the top of the seventh with Florida Christian one big hit away from rallying from what was a four-run deficit entering the inning. But Warriors pitcher Kelli Kleiss got Florida Christian’s Anie Palmeiro to fly out to deep right to seal an 8-6 Westminster Christian victory in a Region 4-3A semifinal at Palmetto Bay Park.
Westminster Christian (23-4) will travel to play Delray Beach American Heritage Friday in the regional final at 7 p.m.
Palmeiro went 3 for 3 and reached base four times, but her deep fly ball was caught by center fielder Natalie Lopez near the warning track.
Kleiss, who gave up five earned runs (six overall) but struck out 10, worked her way out of a similar jam in the top of the first inning when the Patriots put two runners on with one out and scored a run off her throwing error to take a 1-0 lead. But Kleiss picked up the final two outs to limit the damage.
Westminster scored seven runs over the first three innings with an offensive barrage that was led by Brittany Husk, who went 4 for 4 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Kaitlyne Musa delivered a go-ahead two-run double in the first inning. Kleiss also hit a two-run double in the second inning.
Florida Christian loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh. Monica Marquez hit a double that scored two runs. Kleiss and her teammates huddled up for a moment before she helped the Warriors record the final out.
“Every time we play Florida Christian, it’s a battle and we always seem to have these types of games,” Doan said. “We’re happy to be moving on.”
WP: Kelli Kleiss (18-4). LP: Karli Smith.
• Region 4A semifinal — Gulliver 11, Key West 0: Freshman second baseman Jessica Rivera brought in two RBI on of her first high school homerun, leading Gulliver (22-5) past Key West (10-12) to await the winner of the Pace/Coral Springs Charter semifinal which was postponed due to rain on Tuesday.
Key West pitcher Jewliana Castillo allowed three runs in the first, and eight in the second. The game ended after five innings.
COREY W. CAMPBELL
WP: Draney (16-4). LP: Castillo. Top performers: Draney 2-3, 2 RBI, single, double. Stephanie Texeira HR, 2 RBI, 3 runs, 2 walks. Jessica Rivera HR, 2 RBI, 1-3.
Inclement weather Tuesday led to the postponement of several regional softball semifinal games.
• Region 4-8A: The Palmetto-Coral Reef game was moved to Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at Coral Reef. The American-Goleman was also rescheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Goleman.
• Region 4-6A: The Pembroke Pines Charter-Mater Academy game was moved to Wednesday at Bucky Dent Park at 7 p.m.
• Region 4-4A: The Coral Springs Charter-Monsignor Pace game was moved to noon Wednesday at Pace.
• Region 4-2A: The Westwood Christian-Princeton Christian game was moved to Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Princeton Christian. The Zion Lutheran-Sheridan Hills Christian game was moved to Thursday at 4 p.m. at Sheridan Hills.