TARPON SPRINGS — Note to East Lake’s future playoff opponents: Don’t anger the Eagles.
East Lake’s defense allowed the most runs all season Thursday then put on a hitting clinic in the fifth, defeating Seminole 14-4 after five innings to win its second consecutive 5A-11 title.
Scoring two in the first and third innings, the Eagles received an unwelcome surprise at the top of the fifth.
The Warhawks showed resolve scoring four runs off the typically unflappable Alyssa Bache, who played through a bursitis injury.
“This game here woke us up,” East Lake coach Mike Estes said. “It was one of those situations where we’re coasting along, Alyssa wasn’t throwing her best tonight, and we got kind of lax.”
Bache survived the inning after popping Melissa Miles out to second. What ensued was nothing short of guts.
In the bottom of the fifth with two on and no out, Sydney Dinelli took a huge swing, lacing the ball to centerfield for a three-run home run.
“We’ve never been down before so for that to happen to us was a big wakeup call,” Dinelli said who finished 3-for-4 with seven RBIs. “We were determined after that to score runs.”
East Lake continued the hit parade by scoring three more times and allowing Dinelli another chance after the hit-around.
With the bases loaded and two out, Dinelli blasted the ball to right-centerfield for a bases-clearing double. Pinch-runner Audrey Gangloff would cross the plate for the final run of the game.