Even though it was a regular season game and even though in the grand scheme of things the two teams will meet up in the district championship and possibly the regional playoffs, that still did not downplay the importance of last week’s game between the Miami Springs girls softball team and district rival Goleman.
After all, this was the same Goleman team that beat Springs three times last season, including a season-ending district semifinal loss, and had just knocked off the Hawks 4-2 two weeks earlier at Slade Park to make it four straight wins over Springs.
Thanks to an offensive onslaught that plated five runs in the first two innings, Springs ended their losing streak to Goleman by defeating the Gators 5-3 at Virginia Gardens Field.
That result left both teams with 4-1 district records and with the other three teams in the district consisting of bottom feeders Mourning, Carol City and Norland, both Springs and Goleman likely will finish 7-1 in the district and meet in the district championship game.
“It wasn’t as important for me as a coach than it was for the girls,” said Springs head coach Charlie Green. “I think they had gotten tired of losing to Goleman and were tired of hearing about it and went out and did something about it.”
They did something about thanks to a terrific effort by pitcher Emily Santos, who struck out eight en route to the complete-game victory that raised her record to 5-1. And did it thanks to the offensive contributions of her cousin Geneva Santos along with Tiffany Turman, Nicole Borroto, Yoselyn Escoto and Crystal Ramos.
After giving up a run in the top of the first and then answering with five runs in the next two innings, Santos and her teammates nursed the 5-1 lead for the next five innings before the Gators kept everyone in their seats by rallying for two runs in the top of the seventh and brought the tying run to the plate.
But Ramos swallowed up a grounder to shortstop and fired over to first for the final out and at last the Hawks didn’t have to hear anymore chatter about “When are you going to beat Goleman?”
“We came tonight with intensity like I hadn’t seen before,” said Ramos. “From the first inning on, it was, ‘We’ve got this.’ We’re going to dump this losing streak to Goleman. We were getting tired of hearing about it. This was important for us tonight.”
“From the start I really felt like we were going to come out and play well tonight,” said Emily Santos, who has been spelling her cousin Geneva on the mound quite a bit this season and turning in solid performances. “Getting those five runs early was huge because it makes me feel like my team has my back and gives me a safety net that every pitcher loves to have.”
Three days later, Emily watched Geneva take to the mounds and deliver in a big way as she struck out 13 Ferguson batters to lead Springs to a 6-2 victory to move their record to 9-3.