Once her day was done, Coral Springs Charter ace Ally Muraskin wrapped her shoulder in ice and started preparing for her next game. Time was of the essence.
The Panthers took care of Calvary Christian 8-0 in a Region 4-4A semifinal on Thursday afternoon and quickly turned their attention to region power Gulliver which beat Florida Christian earlier in the day.
Coral Springs Charter, Florida’s lone unbeaten high school softball team at 26-0-1, travels to Gulliver on Friday at 4 with the winner moving to next week’s state final four in Vero Beach.
Gulliver has been to the finals 10 times and its six state titles is tied with American Heritage for third in Florida history; Charter has yet to make it out of the regional round.
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“The bottom line is you have to go through Gulliver no matter what,’’ Charter coach Mark Montimurro said. “We just have to go play our game. Gulliver is very seasoned and when the season started, just looking at the map, you knew who you get through. We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’ve had a phenomenal season, have passed every test. Hopefully we can pass another one.’’
Thursday, the Panthers gave Muraskin (23-0) an early lead when Casey Huber hit a two-run homer to left with one out in the first and didn’t look back.
Coral Springs Charter led 4-0 after two innings (Kayla Scaperrotta singled in a run with another scoring on an error) and Muraskin was all over it as she gave up just two hits in six innings of work with 10 strikeouts.
The Panthers led 8-0 after a four-run fourth and were never threatened as they beat the Eagles (16-6) for the third time this season.
“In travel ball, you pitch two or three times a day so pitching again [Friday] isn’t a concern,’’ Muraskin, a sophomore, said. “We’re coming together as a team.’’
▪ Coral Springs Charter 8, Calvary Christian 0
CalC: 000-000-0 -- -- 0-2-2
CSC: 220-400-x -- -- 8-7-0
WP: Ally Muraskin (23-0); LP: Cameron Chang (16-6). CSC 26-0-1, CalC 16-6.
▪ Gulliver 5, Florida Christian 1: The Patriots were just five outs from what would have been a stunning upset but instead, host Gulliver rallied for five runs in the sixth inning to advance to Friday’s regional final against undefeated Coral Springs Charter.
Thursday marked the fourth time since 2008 Gulliver (21-7) eliminated Florida Christian (17-10) from the playoffs.
One of Gulliver’s biggest standouts on Thursday was outfielder Ana Hilton, who fouled off several pitches before hammering a line-drive two-run homer to left, snapping a 1-1 tie.
“When I was hitting those foul balls, I knew I was right on it – maybe an inch off,” said Hilton, who has four homers this season. “I was thinking to myself: ‘How many more foul balls?’
“They all seemed to be the same pitch. On the last one, I was thinking: ‘I have to get my hands faster.’ Once it went over the fence, it was a great feeling.”
▪ West Boca 3, Monarch 1 (9): West Boca tied the score in the sixth inning before putting the game out of reach with two in the ninth to advance to the region finals. The Bulls (24-5) visit two-time defending state champion St. Thomas Aquinas Friday at 4 p.m.
“We were down and it just took a long time waiting and waiting for something to happen,” West Boca coach Ron Hoyt said. “The pitcher from Monarch did a great job. So did our pitcher. Near the end of the game, we had the quality at-bats.”
After West Boca scored twice in the top of the ninth, the Knights (24-4) looked to counter when Sarah Goldman singled to start the bottom of the ninth. Pitcher Jordyn Lyman got the next three outs to end it.
“We were telling them as we went to extra innings, their swings got better and ours got more tense,” Monarch coach Tom Popovics said. “They were able to put some swings together and make something happen.”
West Boca, which features five freshmen in its everyday lineup, advances to its first regional final appearance since 2013 when it lost to Aquinas.
RYAN S. CLARK
WB: 000-001-002 -- -- 3-10-2
Mon: 100-000-000 -- -- 1-6-2
WP: Jordyn Lyman (15-3); LP: Emily Estroff. WB 24-5, Mon 24-4.
▪ American Heritage 7, Riviera Beach Suncoast 0: Top-ranked and defending 5A state champion American Heritage (23-1-1) moved to within a win Friday of returning to the state semifinals by beating Riviera Beach Suncoast (14-10).
Senior Jenna Goodrich, headed to Georgia Tech, pitched five scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and blasted a two-run home run down the left field line in the third as the Patriots rallied for four runs with two outs in the frame.
Freshman Hannah Sipos, leading the team in hits (35) and RBI (36), drove in the first two runs with a line drive single to center.
"I just tried to be productive for my team," Goodrich said. "Hanna had just come up and drove in two runs and I thought it was my turn to produce a run. As a team I thought we hit really well for the most part."
Junior Missi Rini then drove in three runs with a two-out bases-loaded single in the fifth.
The Patriots, who had its game with Suncoast postponed by bad weather twice this week, don't have any time relax. They host Mount Dora (16-8) Friday in the region 4-5A final.
▪ Westminster Christian 2, Marathon 1: Pitcher Victoria Perez aided her own cause by driving in a pair of runs with a sixth-inning single to save the Warriors’ season Thursday night at Palmetto Bay Park.
Carlin Labuzan got things going in the sixth with a single then moved to third on a double by Ally Mena. Perez brought them both home to send the Warriors (21-9) into Friday’s regional final against Trinity Christian. Marathon’s season ends at 11-12.
"I saw the pitch coming and I was ready to get inside it," said Perez who also pitched a complete game. "Marathon put up a great fight."
Mar: 100-000-0 -- -- 1-4-1
WC: 000-002-x -- -- 2-5-1
WP: Victoria Perez (10-6); LP: Jordan Roney (10-4).WC 21-9, Mar 11-12.
SOFTBALL REGIONAL FINALS
3-8A: Lake Worth Park Vista at Stoneman Douglas, 4
4-8A: Flanagan at Coral Reef, 4
4-7A: West Boca at St. Thomas Aquinas, 4
4-5A: Mount Dora at American Heritage, 7
4-4A: Coral Springs Charter at Gulliver, 4
4-3A: Trinity Christian v. Westminster Christian (Palmetto Bay Park), 7
4-2A: Boca Grandview at Colonial Christian, 4