The ability to hit and field well have been the biggest keys to the Coral Reef softball team’s success for two seasons.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Barracudas did neither.
Coral Reef committed seven errors and was limited to a season-low for runs and hits in a 5-1 defeat against Oviedo Hagerty in a Class 8A state semifinal at Historic Dodgertown.
The loss denied the Barracudas (21-9) their chance to become the first Miami-Dade County public school to win back-to-back state championships in the sport.
“We had some tough games this season in which we come back, but today was really an anomaly,” Coral Reef coach Dario Rodriguez said. “It was just one of those games where it seemed like everybody made a mistake.”
The Barracudas appeared to start the game strong scoring first in the first inning on Cristina Colli’s RBI single.
From that point, Coral Reef managed to put only one more runner on base against Hagerty starting pitcher Samantha Worrell.
The Barracudas were held to a season-low three hits.
“We faced a great pitcher in Worrell, and I thought our pitcher [Michelle Mesa] did well with only two earned runs,” Rodriguez said. “The errors really didn’t give us a chance to come back in the game.”
Hagerty (28-4) tied the game in the bottom half of the first and took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third on back-to-back singles with the bases loaded by Worrell and Alexandra Miller.
“We started thinking too much at the plate especially after we fell behind,” junior first baseman Cassandra Garcia said.
“We were trying to do too much.”
Coral Reef committed three errors in the bottom of the sixth that led to another pair of Hagerty runs and effectively put the game out of reach.
“This was something I’ve never seen happen with this team,” Rodriguez said. “It’s hard to explain.”
The Barracudas, who won their first state title in school history last season, will have a strong chance to win another next season with only two seniors on the roster.
“I think we can make it back,” junior third baseman Carsyn Gordon said. “We have a lot of starting players coming back. It’s just going to take a lot of heart and effort.”
CR 100 000 0 – 1 3 7
HG 103 001 x – 5 6 0