You’ll forgive the Westminster Christian softball team if the celebration was a little on the modest side of Tuesday night’s Region 4-4A championship game.
Teams that win those to clinch a trip to the state final four usually mob each other in a wild celebration when the game ends.
But when you are a program that has made the trip to Vero Beach the previous five years, the sixth is probably no big deal.
Such was the case when Megan Diaz rocketed a triple to the fence in right-center field in the bottom of the fifth, scoring pinch runner Daniella Alvarez from first giving the Warriors a walk-off 10-0 mercy rule victory over Chaminade-Madonna at Palmetto Bay Park.
Looking to become just the second Miami-Dade County team to win three consecutive state titles, Westminster (20-8) will head back to Historic Dodgertown in Vero and take on either Clearwater Calvary Christian or Tampa Catholic in a 4A state semifinal on May 21 at 7:20 p.m. Gulliver Prep. won four straight from 2010-13.
“Yeah, I guess we’ve been doing a few of these for awhile now,” said Westminster head coach Scott Doan. “We always make sure we stay at the same place, use the same cages, pretty much the same everything which we’ll do again. I’m very proud of the girls, they did a nice job of jumping on top early tonight and never looked back.”
Doan referred to the first inning when Diaz led the game off with a triple, which turned into the start of a four-run rally off talented Chaminade starter Emily Winburn, and the Warriors were never threatened.
That thanks to a terrific pitching performance from Bella Artiles. Even though she struggled with her control, walking five batters, Artiles never gave up a hit until the Lions’ Alex Simon hit a harmless two-out single to right in the fifth.
“I wasn’t perfect tonight by any means but I was confident my teammates would back me up in the field which they did,” said Artiles, who had four strikeouts. “Getting those four runs in the first inning was huge and made it that much easier for me. Now we want to go up to Vero and get that three-peat.”
Diaz enjoyed a huge offensive night as the went 4-for-4 with three triples, 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Hailey Donovan (2-for-3, 3 RBI) Melissa Leon (2-for-3, RBI) and Hannah Kemmerer (2-for-3, 2 runs) also had solid nights.