The state high school softball tournament at the Historic Dodgertown has been, for the most part dominated by South Florida teams.
Wednesday’s results proved that.
In addition to Coral Springs Charter’s Class 5A title and Miami Westminster Christian’s 4A crown, American Heritage and Pembroke Pines Charter each advanced to their respective 6A and 7A finals on Thursday.
Cooper City fell in its bid for a championship, losing its 8A semifinal game.
▪ Class 7A—Pembroke Pines Charter 5, Fort Myers 4: Angelina Pascual’s RBI double into left center field scored courtesy runner Isabella Devasa for the winning run in the top of the seventh to lead the Jaguars in a Class 7A state semifinal.
Pines Charter (25-5), which rallied from a three-run deficit, will play Niceville on Thursday at 11:35 a.m.
The Jaguars will be seeking the schools third state title. Their previous championship came in 2012 and 2014.
Pascual (2-0) was also the winning pitcher in relief, going two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
“The kids just don’t quit,” said Pines Charter coach Tom Fadul. “They fought the whole game, didn’t get down, kept the moral up and fought back.”
Down 4-1 in the top of the fifth, the Jaguars tied the score on a two-run double by Eliza Gonzalez and an RBI single down the third base line by Maegan Calandra.
Pascual and Gonzalez each went 2-for-4 and combined for three RBI to lead Pines Charter.
▪ Class 6A—American Heritage 3, Lake Wales 0: American Heritage solidified a spot into the Class 6A state softball championship in a semifinal victory over Lakes Wales.
The victory puts the Patriots (20-8) into Thursday’s title game against Land O’Lakes at 10:05 a.m. Heritage will be playing for the schools eighth state championship since 2004.
The key to the Patriots victory was junior starting pitcher Julia Grobman, who had missed much of the season with a knee injury.
She improved to 3-1, allowing three hits with four strikeouts in the complete game shutout. It was the Patriots eighth shutout of the season.
“We have two No. 1 pitchers and Julia got the start and had things under control,” Heritage coach Marty Cooper said. “We plan to be here every year and hopefully we can do well and pull off a title.”
Leading 1-0 on an RBI double from Katherine Rodriguez in the top of the third inning, Heritage adder a pair of insurance runs in the seventh.
Analyse Jimenez when Hannah Sipos was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That was followed by an RBI single by Marley Felder that scored Janai Conklin for the 3-0 lead.
▪ Class 8A—Hagerty 1, Cooper City 0: The Cowboys bid to win their first state softball championship since 2009 was dashed in the bottom of the seventh inning in a Class 8A semifinal.
Kaitlyn Wilson deep fly ball to right center for the second out in the bottom of inning scored Josie Ornsby with the winning run. The ball throw from the outfield was just off target as Ornsby slid into third. The ball rolled into the dugout allowing Ornsby to cross home.
Cooper City (23-6) pitcher Jasmin Herrera (14-3) had a strong game allowed only five hits and no walks.
▪ Class 9A — Western 2, Coral Reef 1: Western will play West Orange at 2:05 p.m. for the state title on Thursday for a championship following the victory at the Historic Dodgertown.
The Wildcats (21-7) advance to the championship for the first time in school history. They lost to West Orange in the state semifinals 11-1 in 2016.
Western scored the deciding run in the bottom of the sixth inning when a throwing error allowed Courtney Monoco to score the go-ahead run.
“This is fantastic,” Western coach Jeffery Poole said. “We know we have a better team than we had two years ago when we lost to West Orange. We found a way to pull it out in the in and that seems the ways we’ve been doing it lately.”
Sophomore pitcher Jada Oleski (12-5) got the victory with a complete game two-hitter and striking out three. “We just had to keep fighting and keep the energy up,” Oleski said. “It was a tough game.”
Western tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a wild pitch by Coral Reef pitcher Brianna Romaguera that allowed Sydney Pappas to score from third.
The Barracudas took an early 1-0 lead when Romaguera’s infield single to second allowed Jenice Casanas allowed her to score from second on the no throw to home in the second inning. “It was a tough week,” Coral Reef coach Dario Rodriguez said.
“I told the girls if we hit we’re going to win this game. We didn’t hit because the pitcher on the other side kept us at bay. Romaguera (5-7) took loss despite only giving up five hits and an earned run.