Coral Springs Charter pitcher Ally Muraskin talks after winning state championship
A day after pitching a no-hitter and driving in the game-winning run in the state semifinals, Ally Muraskin did it all for the Coral Springs Charter softball team once more in Saturday’s championship game.
Although Muraskin gave up three hits, she continued to dominate from the circle, and her two-run double to the left-field fence was the difference in the Panthers’ 9-2 victory over Bradenton Bayshore for the Class 5A crown.
The state championship was the second consecutive for Muraskin and Coral Springs Charter.
The Panthers went 26-3 this season and are 55-3-1 over the past two years.
“All I needed was one run, so when we got two of them, I was confident we were getting the two-peat,’’ said Muraskin, who struck out 14 on Saturday to end with 27 for the weekend at Dodgertown. “This is unreal. I’m so happy. This is just awesome.’’
Muraskin, a junior, had quite the formidable foe as Bayshore’s Miriam Schmoll was equally dominant and ended with 10 strikeouts, including nine through the fifth inning.
The two teams were deadlocked going into the fifth inning as Muraskin — headed to UCF in 2017 — and Schmoll (USF, 2016) squared off for the third time in the fifth after Schmoll struck out Muraskin in her first two trips to the plate.
In the third go-round, with runners at second and third and one out, Muraskin battled an 0-2 count and fouled one pitch after another.
After a brief meeting with Kayla Scaperrotta in the on-deck circle, Muraskin ripped Schmoll’s next pitch to the left-field fence, bringing home Megan Ashworth and Skylar Fairchild.
“We were talking about having her put it on the ground and she gave me that look, like, ‘I got it coach,’ ’’ said Mark Montimurro, who has won back-to-back state titles at Hollwood Christian (2003-04) and with the Panthers. “She’s come through with big hits all year long. She did it again [Saturday]. It shows you the kind of kid she is. She does it in the circle or in the batter’s box. There’s no quit in her.’’
Bayshore (18-4) made it a game in the bottom of the fifth when LaShara James hit a shot over the right-field fence with one out to make it 2-1.
Although Muraskin looked a little rattled as she walked the following batter, she finished the inning with a pair of strikeouts to give her 10 heading into the sixth inning.
The Panthers then broke things open by scoring seven runs in the next two innings.
“We started to push the envelope a bit, put the ball on the ground and force them into making key plays under duress,’’ Montimurro said. “That’s been our recipe for success all year.’’
The Panthers added to their one-run lead in the sixth as freshman Lindsay Garcia led off with an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice from Sara Berthiaume.
After Alyssa Laboy reached on a fielder’s choice, Schmoll tried to gun down Garcia at third, but he ball ended up in the outfield, and Garcia raced home to make it 3-1.
Coral Springs Charter added another run on another throwing error down the third-base side — this time from the Bayshore catcher — after Laboy was thrown out at the plate.
By this point, the gates had opened and a Bayshore team making its first appearance at the state finals was done.
The Panthers kept coming in the seventh, scoring five more runs — two coming off a bases-loaded double from Garcia.
Bayshore got its lone runs off solo home runs including one with two outs in the seventh.
“Being able to win it twice makes it very special,’’ said Garcia, who was part of last year’s team as an eighth-grader. “We had a few newcomers this year, and it was a great experience. We had so much fun. This team plays its heart out, and we deserved this.”
Now, the focus turns to a Charter three-peat, something that has never been done in Broward County since fast-pitch softball was instituted in the 1990s.
Muraskin, for one, thinks her team — one that loses just four seniors — can do it.
“We’re coming back next year, and I’m going to end my career and leave everyone with three rings,’’ Muraskin said. “It’s already in my mind. I don’t know if everyone else is thinking about it because they’re all celebrating, but I’m already onto next year.’’