NAPLES — Gulf Coast was well aware of Mya Anderson, who entered regionals batting .530. But the player behind Anderson in the lineup proved to be just as much a threat.
Brittany Johnson had two hits and three RBIs, including the tying and winning runs, as the Gryphons won 4-3 in nine innings in the Class 5A, Region 3 quarterfinals Tuesday night.
Megan Eskew was the winning pitcher for the Gryphons (22-8). Hannah Vet took the loss for the Sharks (16-12).
“On the way here on the bus, I told the girls, ‘You have a tough time finishing,’ ” said Sickles coach Phil Giarrizzo. “We’re not concerned as much with how we start as how we finish. Tonight we did a great job, coming up with a run in our last at-bat to tie it. We couldn’t have asked for more from the players than this.”
Johnson lifted a sacrifice fly to score Alexis Wilt for the go-ahead run in the ninth, and Anderson had four hits.
“The key lately for us has been moving Mya to the leadoff spot,” Giarrizzo said. “She has been the spark for the offense. That’s one reason we’ve gotten as far as we have.”
The Sharks took a 3-2 lead in the sixth. But the Gryphons rallied to tie it in their last at-bat. The Sharks gave an intentional walk to Anderson with a runner in scoring position, but Johnson singled to right to bring home Wilt with two outs to make it 3-all.