High School Sports

Westminster Christian, state softball tournament postponed because of rain

With nothing better to do, the Westminster Christian softball team found an indoor batting cage on Wednesday and got some cuts in.

After the opening day of the state softball tournament was postponed because of rain, the Warriors tried to make the best of the situation.

“Our goal was to get back here for a third straight year and here we are so our girls are excited,” said coach Tom Doan, whose team was supposed to play its Class 4A semifinal Wednesday at the Dodgertown complex but instead will play Thursday.

“We’re still working, so we have the right kind of enthusiasm.”

With the entire tournament set back a day because of the rain, Westminster Christian — as well as the other 15 teams in the first half of the tournament — will have to win twice Thursday to claim a state championship.

In Westminster’s case, the Warriors (21-5) face Orlando’s Montverde Academy at 11:05 a.m. in a Class 4A state semifinal game.

The winner of that semifinal will play either Fort Myers Bishop Verot or Jacksonville Trinity Christian in the title game later that afternoon.

Because of the nature of softball, playing a twice in a day isn’t much of a big deal although it is rare to see it at the state level.

The FHSAA moved everything to Thursday so as to not interfere with the second half of the tournament (Classes 5A-9A), which starts Friday.

“We have two veteran, varsity pitchers, so if we need use both of them, we’re ready,” said Doan, whose Warriors won a state championship in 2014 but lost to Lakeland Christian 6-5 in last year’s 3A title game after leaving the bases loaded.

“Everyone is facing the same situation. We all have to deal with it, so it isn’t an advantage nor disadvantage. If you only have one pitcher you may be in trouble, but that’s not the case for us. I think we’ll be fine. It’s unusual to see a state tournament decided in a doubleheader, but we’ve played in tournaments so we’re used to it. Everyone is.”