Kara Lokeinsky’s Cooper City teammates sang “Happy Birthday” to her after the game, she received a few balloons and someone brought cupcakes.
But the most best generous gift the pitcher received for her 15th birthday Wednesday may have been a pile of hits and runs.
Shannon Legacki smacked a single, double and home run for four RBI and visiting Cooper City routed Taravella 9-0 in the Class 8A regional quarterfinals. Cooper City will play at Cypress Bay, which it lost to in the district championship last week, in the regional semifinalsTuesday.
“I’ve been in a bad slump these past couple of weeks. So finally getting hits and doing well felt great,” Legacki said.
Noted Lokeinsky: “I like how my team helped me out a lot by getting a lot of hits, so all the pressure wasn’t on me.”
The Cowboys (20-6) racked up a dozen hits Wednesday, including four consecutive to start the sixth inning – a frame in which they scored three runs, including an RBI single from Lokeinsky.
Meanwhile, Lokeinsky allowed the district champion Trojans (16-6) just three hits in the complete-game shutout.
“I moved the ball around a lot so they didn’t really know what to do,” Lokeinsky said.
Taravella started with Megan Markusfeld in the pitching circle, switched to Rachel Magee trailing 3-0 in the third, and then went back to Markusfeld down 7-0 in the sixth.
Legacki, who said she stayed positive during her slump with encouragement from her older sister, but in her first at-bat in the second inning, she clubbed a home run to left field off Markusfeld.
With two outs in the third, Lindsey Olivares belted a two-run double. After a walk, Magee replaced Markusfeld and Legacki drilled a two-run double off her for a 5-0 lead. Legacki’s RBI single up the middle in the fifth made it 6-0. Megan Isoba and Grace Gonzalez tacked on two more runs with RBI singles in the sixth.
“[Kara] has kept teams at bay all season long, so I knew it was just about us generating some offense,” said Cooper City coach Phil Schmalz. “We got some really good pitches to hit and the girls hit the ball solid. Today was probably the most solidly played game offensively that we’ve had all season.”
CC 0 1 4 0 1 3 0 — 9 13 0
TAR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 1
With both her knees hurting, righthander Sarah Mahoney was far from her best.
However, with help from her defense to combine with key strikeouts, she managed earn the complete-game victory as the Lightning pulled away late, turning a close game into a deciding victory in Wednesday's first round of the state Class 8A regionals at Cypress Bay.
"That was my worse game of the year, easily," said the senior, who finished with nine strikeouts while holding the Eagles to three hits. "The defense did a great job, and that's one thing I don't have to worry about."
The Lightning (19-6) will face the winner of the Taravella-Cooper City game in Tuesday's round of 16.
The Eagles (19-9) loaded the bases twice with less than two outs twice, but combined to score just once in those threats. The last threat came in the seventh with one out as Cypress Bay was clinging to a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth.
The Lightning escaped trouble when Mahoney struck out two batters in that inning; the third out came when first baseman Maggie Scott scooped up a throw to the dirt from the shortstop to end the threat.
The teams went on to exchange runs before the Lightning pulled away with a four-run sixth inning capped when Maddie Gott ripped a two-run double.
DOU 010 001 0 — 2 3 3
CB 300 014 X — 8 8 1
Righthander Jacyln Laiacona held Miami Beach hitless and received an abundance of run support as the Bobcats crushed the High Tide in Wednesday's Class 8A playoff game at West Broward.
In a game delayed 90 minutes due to the late arrival of the umpires, West Broward ended the game in the fourth inning with no outs when Lauren Sakowitz and Alyssa Prinzo hit back-to-back inside-the-park home run to complete the rout.
Laiacona (10-3) finished with three strikeouts and two walks, both of which led to Miami Beach scoring two runs on the same play off two throwing errors.
The Bobcats (17-6) will face McArthur in Tuesday's regional quarterfinals. Miami Beach ends its season at 13-7.
On offense, West Broward finished with 16 hits, seven going for extra bases. Lefthanded catcher Jamie Mandy went 2-for-3 with two doubles and five runs batted in, and Nicole Cahill went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Megan Obier and Elise Calzadilla also contributed with multiple-hit games.
MB 0 0 2 0 X X X — 2 0 4
WB 6 3 5 3 X X X— 17 15 3
The Gulliver softball team embarked on its journey for a fifth consecutive state title with a convincing 11-2 win over Florida Christian on Wednesday.
The host Raiders (22-6) received a complete game from senior pitcher Gabbee Draney while jumping out to an early lead with a three-run first inning and hitting around the order in a five-run fifth.
“We did what we should do — get out [in front] early,” said Gulliver coach Mark Schusterman, winner of more than 600 games in his coaching career. “First inning was very important. We set a tone.”
Both runs against Draney, a Florida Gulf Coast signee, were unearned and she struck out eight in her seven innings of work, allowing five hits and three walks. She also went 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of RBI.
Sofia De Solo, Brianna Bahadue and Jessica Rivera each had three-hit games. Bahadue had three RBI, De Solo drove in two and Rivera scored three times.
FC 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 — 2 5 1
GUL 3 1 1 0 5 1 X —11 14 2