The experience of being at the state softball final four is something new for Coral Springs Charter. But once the Panthers got on the field, the game took a very familiar pattern.
Once again, Coral Springs Charter took a commanding early lead and held it behind another pitching gem from sophomore ace Ally Muraskin, as the Panthers blanked Fort Pierce Lincoln Park 5-0 in a Class 4A state semifinal at Historic Dodgertown.
The Panthers (28-0-1) will next try to complete an unbeaten season by winning their first state championship when they play Callahan West Nassau at 11:05 a.m. on Saturday.
“We just want to keep our foot on the pedal, and now we have one more to go,” Muraskin said. “Everything on this trip just feels right, like we’re destined to win it all. It’s power pride.”
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Muraskin struck out 14 on Friday to bring her season total to 286 strikeouts. The first seven outs she recorded came via the strikeout.
“When she’s spinning the ball like that there’s nobody better, and [when] we give her a somewhat comfortable lead [we’re in] pretty good shape,” Charter coach Mark Montimurro said.
Coral Springs Charter gave Muraskin more than enough run support by consistently putting the ball in play and forcing four Lincoln Park errors.
Kayla Scaperrotta walked to open a four-run first inning for the Panthers and came around to score on a close play at the plate after Skylar Fairchild hit a ground ball in the infield. Scaperrotta slid under the tag of Lincoln Park catcher Meghan Callahan for the first run.
A similar play resulted in a second run for Charter when Muraskin hit a grounder to the pitcher and Casey Huber scored after Callahan dropped the toss from pitcher Taylor Strickland. Charter catcher Gianna Boccagno singled to left and right fielder Amanda Flynn hit an RBI groundout to round out the scoring for the inning.
The Panthers capitalized on another Lincoln Park error in the second when Huber reached after the Greyhounds had no one covering first base to catch a throw from shortstop Taylor Martin. Charter center fielder Megan Ashworth scored the fifth run after she walked to start the inning.
“We put ball on the ground, and our short game was phenomenal and our baserunning was aggressive and successful,” Montimurro said. “We sensed our opponent was prone to mistakes early on, and we tried to take advantage of their miscues. We knew if they would make a mistake or two, the floodgates would open.”
LP 000 000 0 — 0 2 4
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WP: Ally Muraskin (25-0). LP: Taylor Strickland (19-3).