It has been a year and day since the Coral Springs Charter and Pembroke Pines Charter softball teams crossed paths.
And like last year, the result was the same.
Led by Cassidy Crump’s three-run homer over the left-field fence in the top of the fifth, Coral Springs Charter successfully defended its BCAA Big 8 softball championship 8-6 at Silver Lakes South Park on Thursday. Overall Coral Springs Charter and Pines Charter have won the last four Big 8 titles. Pines Charter won in 2016-17.
Coral Springs Charter improved to 19-1, winning 33 of its last 34 games. During their current 18-game winning streak they have outscored opponents 101-30.
“This team is very gritty, probably the toughest team we’ve had,” said Coral Springs Charter coach Mark Monimurro. “We have the ingredients to put it together and rally and the girls were able to do that tonight.”
Crump’s fourth homer of the season gave the Panthers a 6-3 lead after trailing by three runs following one complete inning.
“I want to hit a home run for my team,” said Crump after she convinced Montimurro to hit away when he asked her to bunt. “It was as simple as that.”
After a pair of much needed insurance runs in the top of the sixth, the Panthers survived the bottom of the inning when Pines Charter (18-4-1) produced three runs, cutting the deficit to two.
An RBI single by Ariana Carreno and a bases-loaded walk by Kylie Casanova keyed the rally.
Pines Charter did exactly what it needed in the bottom of the first inning, jumping on Springs Charter starter Brianna Godfrey.
Maegan Calandra doubled to left field to score two. An Eliza Gonzalez infield single scored Calandra from third for a 3-0 lead.
After Godfrey drove in a run in the top of the second, Lindsey Garcia evened the score at 3-3 in the third inning with a two-run blast over the left-field fence for her seventh home run of the season.
It was Garcia’s 33rd and 34th RBI of the season.
Godfrey who improved to 9-0, pitched a total of six innings (first as the starter and one in relief), allowing five hits, three runs and striking out eight.
The Jaguars defeated Coral Springs Charter twice last season before falling in the 2018 Big 8 Softball semifinals 8-3. It was the Panthers first Big 8 title, which was part of a season ending 15-game winning and a fourth straight state title.