The record book will show that the Doral Academy softball team lost to Lake Region 9-3 in a Class 7A state semifinal on Thursday at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.
A closer look at the Firebirds program will display a rise to a state competitor in a few short years. This season was the first the school has qualified for the state softball tournament.
“We’ve made strides and we hope to continue,” said Doral Academy coach Willie Viruet. “We have a good group, we’re young and have only three seniors. The future is bright for us.
We are disappointed with lost today, but we’re excited about the future of the program.”
The Firebirds (22-6) schedule played an important part in the team progression as a state playoff contender. They played the likes of Cooper City, American Heritage, Coral Gables and so on.
Viruet said his team will continue to play a tough schedule, knowing it what will make them better going forward.
“At the end of the day,” Viruet said, “that’s what helped us get here.”
The Firebirds showed some spunk in the late innings.
Senior Gabriella Ruiz was one of the few bright spots in the Doral lineup on Thursday. She went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a run. It was her two-run single in the bottom of the seventh that cut the score to 9-3.
Lake Region (22-9) was led by Kylee Balwin, who finished with three hits and three RBI.
The Thunder collected 14 hits and used a big six-run third inning en route to the victory.
Viruet said discipline has helped our growth, especially with more club players joining the team.
“We learned a lot this year,” said Viruet. “The job is not over after you get through regionals. We thought we were ready, but obviously we were not.”