The Western High softball team had never played for a state championship. That is until Thursday.
The Wildcats took advantage of the opportunity, stunning two-time defending Class 9A state champion with a 7-0 victory to win the 9A title game at Historic Dodgertown.
It was the first state softball title for Western (22-7). The win also gave Broward County four fast-pitch state titles in the same year for the first time.
“This really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Western coach Jeffery Poole said. “We knew we had a shot at a state title. This was the best team we’ve had so far and we told the girls if they stuck with it we could win.”
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Western was the benefactor of several West Orange miscues.
The Wildcats big inning came in the top of the third with three runs. Sydney Tedim scored the first run when Johanna Urso was hit by a pitch with the based loaded. That was followed with a two-run single by Mason Ochs, scoring Bianca Cristafaro and Courtney Monaco to make it a 4-0 lead.
Western took a 1-0 lead in the second when Urso was awarded home on an illegal pitch.
Karissa Bauzon made it 5-0 in the fifth on an error. The Wildcats tacked on their final runs in the seventh with a Bauzon run and RBI double from Ochs.
Ochs went 2 for 4 with three RBI to lead Western.
“This is really awesome,” said Ochs, who is a Virginia Tech signee. “I was here two years ago when we lost, and it felt great to beat the same team we lost to last time.
This sets the precedent for next year. I hope the girls can come out and do the same thing.”
While was scoring runs, West Orange was stymied by Wildcats sophomore pitcher Jada Oleski (13-5). She earned the win with a complete game four hitter and four strikeouts.
“The win was everything to us,” Oleski said. “We had such a great season, and this is what we have been aiming for all year. This is the best feeling ever. It’s amazing.”
The Warriors (24-8) had their best chance for runs with the based loaded and one out in the bottom of the fifth. A diving catch of a low liner between first and second was caught by Cristafaro for the second out and Oleski got the third out on a grounder.
Crisatafaro’s diving stop likely prevented two or three runs for West Orange.
“She’s been playing lights out defense throughout the playoffs,” Poole said.