With designs on winning its sixth GMAC title in the past 11 years and second in a row, the Palmetto softball team took a giant step toward that goal on Tuesday.
Palmetto made quick work of Goleman in an afternoon quarterfinal (15-0 in four innings) before clobbering Southwest 12-1 in five innings in the evening semifinal of the GMAC softball tournament at Palmetto Bay Park.
The Panthers (22-2), who suffered a heartbreaking late-inning loss to Tampa Alonso in last year’s state semifinal and are driven to get back, advanced to the GMAC title game on Thursday at 6 p.m. where they will take on a surprise entry, Coral Gables.
Gables (14-6) rallied to upset American 16-7 in the other semifinal, giving the Cavaliers their first berth in a GMAC championship game.
Trailing 4-3 with two outs in the top of the sixth, Gables got consecutive base hits from Kylie Santana, Valerie Madriz and Ali Bonilla to tie the score before Natalie Regalado came through with the big blast, a three-run triple to the right-field fence. Gables had a huge seventh, tacking on nine more runs before American scored three in the bottom of the inning to complete the scoring.
Palmetto was led offensively by Lauren Margolis (4-for-4, three RBI), Katie Burge (4 for 4, four RBI) and Janelle Dominguez, who had a three-run homer to complete a five-run second inning and stake Palmetto to a 7-0 lead after two.
“A good workmanlike effort by the girls today,” said Palmetto coach Emilio Exposito. “They came out and strong in all three phases, hitting, pitching and defense and you saw the result.”
▪ American 5, Coral Reef 4, 8 innings: The Patriots were down to their last three outs when they rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh and then won it in the eighth on a one-out bases-loaded single up the middle by Keiana Williams. Coral Reef was one strike away from securing a 4-3 win when a wild pitch allowed Melane Arauaz to score from third to tie the score.
▪ Palmetto 15, Goleman 0 (4 innings): It took the Panthers less than an hour to wrap up the easy win as Hannah Burge (2 for 2, three runs, two RBI) and Lauren Margolis (four RBI) led the way.
▪ Southwest 1, Miami Springs 0: A Camelia Vizcaio RBI double scoring Amanda Shewchuk all the way from first in the top of the second turned out to be the only run Southwest pitcher Cynthia Marin would need. Marin fired a one-hitter and allowed just two base runners. It was just the second loss of the season from Springs, which fell to 19-2.
▪ Coral Gables 12, Reagan 0 (5 innings): Led by Tatiana Campos (3 for 3, two runs) and Natalie Regalado (3 for 3, double, four RBI), the Cavaliers scored early and often en route to the easy win. Angie Bonilla was the winning pitcher.
BCAA Big 8
St. Thomas Aquinas survived a scare from Monarch before moving on with a 4-1 win at Silver Lakes South Park in the BCAA Big 8 quarterfinals in Pembroke Pines.
Aquinas (15-8) will face Stoneman Douglas (19-4) on Thursday in one of two semifinals.
Monarch took a 1-0 lead when Sarah Goldman scored on a throwing error while stealing third. Aquinas tied it in the bottom of the inning the tagged on two runs in the fifth on a collision at first base.
Douglas advanced to the semis by scoring twice in the second before beating South Plantation 3-0 thanks in part to eight strikeouts from Gianna Lovito.
Alina Varga was 2 for 3, and Monique Potiven had two hits and scored a run.
In the afternoon game, Pines Charter scored three in the first and rolled to a 12-0 victory over Western.
Eliza Gonzalez tossed the five-inning shutout as Megan Calandra went 4 for 4.
The Jaguars will face Cooper City after the Cowboys (16-6) rolled past Coral Glades 11-1.
Kara Lokeinsky pitched a two-hitter with six strikeouts. Shortstop Brenna Lokeinsky had a pair of hits and scored twice.
▪ Hialeah 22, Hialeah-Miami Lakes 4: Kimbo Lopez 2-2, 3B, 3 R, 5 RBI; Katherine Correa 3-3, 2B, 4 R, RBI; Chelsy Hernandez 2-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI. WP: Katherine Correa (4-5) 3 IP, 1 H, 4 K. HIA 13-7.
▪ Coral Park 16, Homestead 1: Jacquie Vera 2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI; Maria Zamora 2-3, 2B, 3 R; Carmily Coello 2-3, 2 R. WP: Maria Zamora (4-2) 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. CP 5-12.
▪ North Palm Beach-Benjamin 11, Pine Crest 10: Alli Trebbi (PC) 2-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI; Valeria De Las Casas (PC) 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Samantha Solomon (PC) 3-3, 2 2B, 3 R, RBI. PC 9-8.