VERO BEACH -- The Pembroke Pines Charter softball team didn’t get off to a good start Saturday afternoon in its bid to win its second consecutive state championship.
And inclement weather conditions forced the Jaguars to wait until Sunday for a chance to make up for it. The weather also postponed the Class 8A state championship game between Miami Coral Reef and Weston Cypress Bay.
Pines Charter fell behind 3-0 after three innings against Lake City Columbia in the Class 6A state championship game at the Vero Beach Sports Village.
With the teams ready to start the fourth, a weather warning was issued delaying the game. A severe thunderstorm swept through the area prompting the delay to continue for more than three hours until the Florida High School Athletic Association chose to suspend the game until Sunday when it will pick up where it left off at 9:30 a.m.
The Class 8A final will be played at the same time on a nearby field.
Both Coral Reef (27-2) and Cypress Bay (21-5) are chasing their first state championships in the sport.
The game will mark the third time Miami-Dade and Broward County teams will play for the championship of the state’s largest classification and the first since Miramar Everglades defeated Miami Palmetto for the Class 6A crown in 2007.
Coral Reef is coming off a thrilling 1-0 victory in nine innings against Orlando Timber Creek in Friday night’s semifinal. Dayna Wilson pitched a complete game and Cristina Colli drove in the winning run in the ninth after a triple by Carsyn Gordon.
Cypress Bay also shut out its semifinal opponent, Winter Garden West Orange, 3-0 on the strength of Sarah Maloney’s strong pitching performance.
Pines Charter (21-3), which has made it to the state final four six times since 2004, gave up two runs in the top of the first inning as Tigers shortstop Tatum Morgan hit a two-run single off Jaguars starter Claire Blount that followed a single by University of Florida recruit Kayli Kivstad.
Morgan drove in another run in the second inning when she beat out a throw to first on an infield single in a bases-loaded situation. Blount limited the damage, however, getting the next two batters out.