Monarch pulls away to reach semifinals

04/25/2014 12:01 AM

04/25/2014 12:37 AM

Despite not pitching in seven weeks, freshman Emily Forbes earned the victory in relief as Monarch pulled away from West Boca 14-5 on Thursday’s in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal.

Forbes (6-2), who started at first base, pitched 3 1/3 effective innings, showing little sign of rust as she was placed in a jam in the top of the fourth with the scored tied at 4.

“She did a good job of getting out of trouble,” Monarch coach Tom Popovics said. “That was the turning point of the game. After she shut them down with the game tied, our [batters] kept hitting right after the other.”

Monarch (21-4), which plays the winner of the Dwyer-Fort Lauderdale game in Tuesday’s semifinals, went on to outhit the Bulls 18-6 to support Forbes, who came in with the bases loaded with one out in the fourth to relieve struggling starter Brooke Hale.

Hale, however, was a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate with two RBI. Outfielder Victoria Alonzo went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI. Madison Mihok had to hits and knocked in three runs.

WB 0 1 0 3 1 0 0 — 5-6-2

MO 3 1 0 5 2 3 X — 14-18-3

•  Region 4-5A: American Heritage 10, Suncoast 0 (5 inn.): Jenna Goodrich and Madison Canby combined for a no-hitter as the Patriots cruised past the visiting Chargers in a mercy-rule victory in the a regional quarterfinal.

The Patriots (21-6) are seeking their sixth state title and second in the past three seasons after falling in the semifinals in 2013. Heritage will face Pompano Beach, a 4-3 winner over Palm Bay Bayside, in the regional semifinals. Suncoast ends its season 13-11.

Goodrich finished with six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of work, and Canby struck out three in just 1 1/3 innings.

Heritage scored four in the first as Melissa Rini doubled in two runs. It added four more in the bottom of the third, two coming on Suncoast throwing errors and another run scoring on single by Ashley Belans.

AH 4 0 4 0 2 -- 10 9 0

SUN 0 0 0 0 0 -- 0 0 2

BRANT LONG

•  Region 4-7A quarterfinal: American 12, Hollywood Hills 2: Kayleen Romero went 4 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI to lead American to a rout of Hollywood Hills in a regional quarterfinal.

Coach Sergio Fernandez was happy about Romero’s play but not as much for the rest of the team.

“We played a good game. It wasn’t our best game,” Fernandez said. “We still haven’t found our peak, but hopefully we’ll play better next time. [Romero’s] been consistent all year long. She’s been carrying us. She leads the team in hitting. She’s in that three hole for a reason.”

After a slow start, the Patriots scored six runs in the third inning, mostly from making the Spartans make mistakes. With Isabella Rodriguez on third, Chastity Velez drew a walk and took off for second, forcing the Spartans to decide where to go with the ball.

Velez advanced to second and Rodriguez was able to score.

Romero later doubled in the inning to make give the Patriots a 7-1 lead.

Heritage added five runs in the sixth inning to cap off the rout. It will face St. Thomas Aquinas in the regional semifinals.

HH 0 0 1 1 0 0 — 2-5-3

AM 1 0 6 0 0 5 — 12-11-2

BRANDON WISE

•  Region 4-3A quarterfinal: Westminster Academy 3, Lake Worth Christian 2 (9): Westminster Academy right-hander Jensen Strandberg had little difficulty dominating the batters from Lake Worth Christian as she held them to three hits.

However, it took nine innings to finally put the visitors away, and it was Strandberg herself who ended the game with her bat.

She knocked in the game winner with a one-out on a lining single to center, allowing Maddi Conner (leadoff walk) to score from second for a victory in a regional quarterfinal at the WA sports complex in Lauderdale Lakes.

“Right before she came to bat, I said to her, ‘Here’s your opportunity; do this for yourself,’ ” Westminster coach Casey Jarvis said after watching her Lions improve to 17-3 to earn the right to play the Highland Christian-Trinity Christian winner in Tuesday’s regional semifinal matchup.

“She did a good job making the batters hit groundouts and popups. She’s a real bulldog out there.”

Standberg, a senior, struck out five batters and retired the last 14 batters in order to give her team a shot in extra innings.

Trailing 2-1, the Lions (17-3) tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth when leadoff hitter Alex Pagliaro hit a two-out triple to the left-center-field gap. The erratic relay throw to third sailed toward the Crusaders dugout, allowing Pagliaro to come home for the tying score.

The Defenders closed their season at 12-8.

LWC - 000 011 000 - 2 3 2

WA - 001 010 001 - 3 7 2

CONCEPCION LEDEZMA

•  Region 4-7A: St. Thomas Aquinas 15, Reagan 0: Senior Gwen Svekis slugged two homers and drove in five runs in just two innings to lead St. Thomas Aquinas’ to a win over visiting Reagan in a regional quarterfinal.

Aquinas (26-2), the defending state champion in Class 7A and currently ranked ninth in the nation by MaxPreps, advanced to Tuesday’s regional semifinal and will play host to American.

Reagan (12-4), making its first appearance in a regional, allowed six runs in the first inning and nine in the second. The game was stopped after 2 1/2 innings because of the 15-run rout rule.

Aquinas’ left-hander Meghan King, a senior who has signed with the University of Maryland, allowed no hits and just one walk in her three innings of work, striking out eight. She improved her record to 16-2.

Svekis, who has nine homers this season and 18 the past two years, has signed with the University of Oregon — which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation — as a catcher/first baseman.

Aquinas’ only losses this season were both early this month by 1-0 scores to American Heritage and Columbia.

Walter Villa

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