Right-fielder Megan Rodriguez and center-fielder Victoria Alonso couldn’t have been angrier after colliding in the top of the seventh inning.
A few minutes later, however, all was forgiven.
Rodriguez’s one-out single in the bottom of the seventh scored Alonso to give Florida Christian an 8-7 walk-off playoff win over visiting Key West on Thursday night.
The Patriots (17-9) advanced to play at Gulliver on Tuesday in a Class 4A regional semifinal softball matchup.
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“This would have been a crushing loss,” Patriots coach Scott Stemmer said of the close call. “We hit the ball hard all night.”
After an RBI double by Carly Smith and a two-run homer by Addy Garcia in a three-run fourth inning, Florida Christian took a seemingly secure 7-4 lead into the seventh, but Key West (13-10) loaded the bases with two outs.
That’s when Key West’s Raylyn Faatuai lofted a fly ball to right center that both Rodriguez and Alonso wanted. The girls collided, and the ball barely squeezed out of Rodriguez’s glove, allowing all three runners to score.
The next batter, Kendell Snow, singled to left for what might have been the go-ahead run, but Patriots left-fielder Sam Elias threw her out at the plate to preserve the 7-7 score.
Then came Rodriguez’s heroics, and — fittingly — it was Alonso who scored on her hit.
“I was angry — I thought I was going to make my team lose,” Rodriguez said of the miscommunication in right-center. “But then I came through.”
▪ Region 4-6A quarterfinal — Doral 15, Goleman 0 (4): The Firebirds remember vividly the pain of being embarrassed in last year’s regional final against eventual state champion Pembroke Pines Charter.
That motivation has kept them focused on earning a chance at redemption.
Doral moved to within one game of a potential rematch with Pines Charter by routing Goleman at home.
The Firebirds scored seven runs in the first inning, led by run-scoring doubles by Anie Palmeiro and Alyssa Rodriguez. Melody Grafals also had an RBI single in the big inning that set the tone quickly.
Palmeiro pitched four no-hit innings, as well, and ended the game with an RBI double down the left-field line.
BG 0, 0, 0, 0 - 0R, 1H, 3E
DA 7 2 5 1 — 15 8 0
WP: Anielieses Palmeiro 4IP, 1H, 7K. Top Performers: Anielieses Palmeiro 3-4, 2R, 2 2B. Melody Grafals 2-2, 3RBI, 2R. Alyssa Rodriguez 1-2, 3 RBI, 3B. DA 22-6.
▪ Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Gulliver 18, St. Brendan 0 (3): The inclement weather in the area around Gulliver caused a couple of brief delays. It didn’t hinder the Raiders’ lineup, however, as they hit three home runs and scored 13 of its 18 runs to force the mercy-rule victory.
Tori Rios and Ana Hilton each went 2 for 2 with a home run. Hilton also had a triple and drove in six runs. Rios had four RBI.
Pitcher Mekayla Frazier, a seventh-grader, and Destyn Jones combined on a three-inning no-hitter. Frazier also homered and had three RBI.
Gulliver (20-7) will host Florida Christian Tuesday in the regional semifinal round at 4 p.m.
SB 0 0 0 — 0 0 4
GP 5 13 x — 18 9 0
▪ Class 8A regional quarterfinal — Coral Reef 11, Braddock 0: Florida State recruit Carsyn Gordon homered, drove in three runs and pitched the first no-hitter of her career to lead the host Barracudas (18-4-1) past Braddock (10-8).
The Barracudas advance to play the winner of the game between Coral Gables and Palmetto.
Gordon, a senior who was used as a pitcher for just the third time this season, struck out eight and walked two in a game that was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule. She also singled, and the home run she blasted was her 12th of the season.
Coral Reef, which won a state title in 2013 and came up two wins short last season, appears headed for more glory.
BRA 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
CR 1 6 1 3 - 11 13 1
WP: Carsyn Gordon 3-0, 7 K, 0H. Top Performers: Carsyn Gordon, 2-3, HR, 3 RBI. Denver Keller 2-2, 2 RBI. Tyanni Guzman, 2-3, 3 RBI. Carolina Colli 2-3,RBI. Cassandra Garcia, 1-3, RBI. CR 24-4.
▪ Region 4-8A quarterfinal — Palmetto 1, Coral Gables 0 (suspended): Even though they only made it to the third batter before the skies opened and the rain came pouring down, that was still enough time for Palmetto to plate a run against Coral Gables.
Kiley Kross led off the game with a triple into the left field corner and then came home when Hannah Burge dropped down a perfect bunt that she beat out for a single. Thanks to a stolen base and wild pitch, Burge eventually wound up at third with Amanda Guglietta at the plate when a drizzling rain turned into a pouring rain soaking the field forcing the suspension of the game.
The game will resume on Friday morning at 11 a.m. at Gables. With a win, Palmetto (18-6) is eying another shot at Coral Reef in the regional semifinals next week.