4A-9 district softball: Jefferson freshman shows maturity on the mound

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Wed. April 20, 2011 | David Rice

TAMPA — Jefferson got one step closer to its preseason goal of becoming district champion with a hard-earned 6-3 victory over Robinson on Wednesday night in the 4A-9 semifinals.

Freshman Nicole Lopez pitched a complete game, racking up six strikeouts. Her teammates supplied good defense, showing the discipline coach Eve Suarez has instilled.

“Nicole (Lopez) has been a great addition for the team,” Suarez said. “They loaded the bases and she got out of it. She kept her focus and it seemed like nothing for her; she never gets down on herself. …Our team chemistry is really good right now.”

The Dragons were up 2-1 going into the third when junior rightfielder Nicole Comstock’s two RBI single opened the game up.

Jefferson made the playoffs last year and Suarez hopes the experience will help her team in tonight’s final against Strawberry Crest. The teams were tied for the top seed before Jefferson was awarded the top spot after a coin flip.

“After last year we all really want to win the district championship,” Suarez said. “They got the feeling of that game last year and they know what it takes to win it now. We want it more; we were overconfident last year.”

Strawberry Crest blasted Steinbrenner with an 11-run third inning in which the Chargers had seven hits. The game lasted a mere four and a half innings, ending 17-2.

“Going into that third inning we told the girls we had to bury them now,” Strawberry Crest coach Mindy Miltner said. “We’re ripping the ball right now and the girls came out on fire in that inning. Hopefully we keep it going. We want to be the first team from our school to win a district title.”

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