Coral Springs Charter advances to state championship
A business-like approach combined with championship experience has been Coral Springs Charter’s blueprint during the bid for a fifth consecutive state softball title.
That idea was altered on Tuesday when coach Mark Montimurro was admitted to Northwest Regional Hospital in Margate with chest pain.
“The kids are focused and ready to play,” said Montimurro by phone from the hospital on Wednesday. “I’m having my heart checked and I’ll have to miss the state tournament. I’m still the coach, but the team will do fine without me in the dugout.”
Montimurro also missed the Panthers’ regional final victory at Key West last week.
The Panthers extended their win streak to 27 following the 6-1 victory over Hernando in a Class 5A state semifinal game at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex on Thursday.
Coral Springs Charter (28-1) will face Marianna in Friday’s championship game at 10:05 a.m. A Panthers win would tie Bartow as the only two schools in state history to win five consecutive softball championships.
“This one was for coach Mark,” said assistant coach Paul Gorlick, who was filling in for Montimurro. “He’s doing well and will be back with us. We followed his game plan today to the tee. He scripted the game for the girls and they got it done.”
Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third, Coral Springs Charter did what they do best. They got hits and took advantage of their opponent’s mistakes.
The Panthers scored five runs in the inning, keyed by a two-tun double by junior infielder and FIU commit Cassidy Crump. She was also awarded the fifth run of the inning on obstruction for the Hernando third baseman.
“I was just trying to play my game and get a hit,” said Crump. “We were thinking about coach and what he would want us to do. We played aggressive all year, the style that coach taught these girls. Hernando made a couple mistakes and we capitalized.”
The Panthers added a run in the fourth on an RBI single from Bridget Dunham to complete the scoring.
Freshman pitcher Brianna Godfrey earned the victory, going five innings, allowing three hits and striking out seven.
As for Friday’s season finale, Crump said. “I don’t think we are nervous. We are confident in ourselves and our game.”