Class 5A state softball semifinals | American heritage 4, ponte vedra beach 0

American Heritage softball rolls, will play for sixth state title

American Heritage pitcher Jenna Goodrich release her pitch during her team’s Class 5A semifinal win over Ponte Vedra Sharks at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach on May 9, 2014.
American Heritage pitcher Jenna Goodrich release her pitch during her team’s Class 5A semifinal win over Ponte Vedra Sharks at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach on May 9, 2014.
J. Patrick Rice / Special to the Miami Herald

American Heritage wasn’t intimidated by Ponte Vedra Beach’s high national ranking or unbeaten record.

On the contrary.

It was the Sharks who looked like they had the jitters.

And so, thanks to a heaping handful of throwing errors, American Heritage advanced to yet another Class 5A state softball title game by defeating the Sharks 4-0 at Dodgertown on Friday night.

The Patriots (24-6) will try for their sixth state championship and second in the past three seasons against Belleview at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

Ponte Vedra Beach, ranked third nationally by, ended its season 28-1.

“We knew their pitcher could do a lot of different things with the ball,” Heritage coach Marty Cooper said. “Our game plan was to put balls in play and put pressure on them all night long by running the bases and did a few different things. We’re really aggressive on the bases, and it worked out.”

Heritage got another terrific outing from junior pitcher Jenna Goodrich (12-2), who tossed a one-hitter and was in control all night.

“I felt really good and knew I had a team behind me that was ready for anything coming our way,” said Goodrich, who struck out eight. “We knew they had a great staff and great hitters, so we wanted to keep them off balance and keep the pressure on them.”

With the Patriots swinging the bat well, Ponte Vedra Beach’s charity was welcomed if not entirely needed.

The Patriots scored all four of their runs off throwing errors and took the lead in the top of the third. Gianna Arrizurieta led off the inning with a single and moved to second before attempting to steal third. The throw to third ended up in foul territory in left field as Arrizurieta raced home.

Two innings later, Ashley Belans led off the inning with a walk and ended up scoring on a host of errors by the Sharks. First, Arrizurieta reached on a throwing error that sailed over the first baseman’s head. As Arrizurieta worked out of a rundown, Belans came home on a second errant throw.

“We run a play called ‘first-third,’ and I ran that,” Arrizurieta said. “We’ve been playing for a while and run it all the time. I knew we would execute it.”

Said Belans: “When the defensive player commits to the runner at first, that’s when you go because they have no chance of getting me.”

In the sixth, the Patriots put things away by scoring twice, again off throwing errors by the Sharks.

Jessie Brown got the sixth started with a leadoff double, then came home when Sydney Behr reached on an error.

Behr eventually came home when she slid under a throw that ended up squirting away from the third baseman.

Goodrich rarely had runners on base and gave up her only hit of the night in the fourth.

Heritage has only given up one run in its six postseason games and has outscored its opponents 65-1.

AH 0 0 1 0 1 2 0 — 4 5 0

PVB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 4

WP: Jenna Goodrich (12-2); LP: Avery Geehr (25-1). AH 24-6; PVB 28-1.

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category