Three more South Florida softball teams are set to take the field Friday at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach.
Coral Reef’s core of seniors is trying to end a memorable three-year run on a high note.
Douglas is trying to prove its great run this breakthrough season isn’t a fluke.
And Coral Springs Charter is starting what it hopes is the first of a prolonged championship run.
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The Panthers (27-0-1) are making their state tournament debut following a dominant and nearly-unblemished run to the final four in Class 4A.
The arrival of sophomore pitcher Ally Muraskin (24-0, 272 strikeouts, 0.49 ERA), a transfer from North Broward Prep, has made Charter a more dangerous team.
The Panthers already had a potent lineup, but this season they are averaging over eight runs per game and have allowed only 23 all season. During the playoffs, Charter has allowed only one run, and that came in the seventh inning in last week’s regional final against Gulliver while already leading by four runs.
Charter has only two seniors on its roster.
One of them, Casey Huber, has a .506 batting average and 28 runs scored. Junior Kayla Scaperrotta has hit .490 with five home runs, freshman Gianna Boccagno has 22 RBI and junior Skylar Fairchild has 18 RBI.
Charter opens up Friday at 11:50 a.m. against Fort Pierce Lincoln Park (21-4), ranked No. 8 in the state. The Greyhounds come in battle tested, as well, having played 10 playoff teams this season. Should Charter win, it would play either Callahan West Nassau or Alachua Santa Fe for the state title Saturday at 11 a.m.
The last time a Dade and Broward team played against each other at the state softball finals, Coral Reef was also involved. That game ended favorably for the Barracudas, who edged Cypress Bay in 2013 to win the school’s first state title.
This time, it will be in the Class 8A semifinals, and Coral Reef (22-4-1) will face Douglas (25-6), which is at state for the first time, at 4:50 p.m. Friday.
Coral Reef’s stellar lineup led by its core six seniors — Carsyn Gordon, Kylan Becker, Cristina Colli, Denver Keller, Cassandra Garcia and pitcher Michelle Mesa — will try to make it two state titles in three years in what is its third consecutive appearance at the final four.
Following a painful loss in the BCAA Big 8 tournament final to Cooper City, Douglas has won five consecutive games. The Eagles beat South Plantation, Western and Lake Worth Park Vista in regionals. Pitchers Sami Feller (15-5, 1.86 ERA) and Christina Granberry (9-1, 2.16 ERA) have been solid throughout the season. Douglas has some power in its lineup, as well, as Madison Sack and Katherine Petersen each have seven home runs.
The winner will take on either Oviedo Hagerty, ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 8A, or Lithia Newsome in the championship game Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
If you go
What: The state softball championships.
When: Through Saturday.
Where: Historic Dodgertown, 3901 26 St., Vero Beach.
Admission: $9 per session; Parking: $8 for cars, $25 for buses.
Thursday’s results — Class 1A final: Cheifland 3, Jay 2 (8); Class 3A final: Lakeland Christian 6, Westminster Christian 5; Class 7A final: Cantonment Tate vs. Sarasota, inc.; Class 5A final: American Heritage vs. Baker County, inc.
Friday’s schedule —Class 4A semifinals: Callahan West Nassau vs. Alachua Santa Fe, 10:35 a.m.; Coral Springs Charter vs. Fort Pierce Lincoln Park, 11:50 a.m.; Class 2A semifinals: St. Petersburg Canterbury vs. Monticello Aucilla Christian, 1:05; Boca Raton Grandview Prep vs. Belle Glade Glades Day, 2:20; Class 8A semifinals: Lithia Newsome vs. Oviedo Hagerty, 3:35; Coral Reef vs. Douglas, 4:50; Class 6A semifinals: Ocala Forest vs. Orange Park Oakleaf, 6:05; Stuart South Fork vs. Tampa Chamberlain, 7:20.
Saturday’s schedule — Class 4A final: 11:05 a.m.; Class 2A final: 1:35; Class 8A final: 4:35; Class 6A final: 7:05