Region softball semifinals
7 Tuesday night unless noted
Class 6A: Mitchell (19-6) at River Ridge (27-1)
Winner gets: Strawberry Crest/Bradenton Lakewood Ranch winner in Friday’s region final
Skinny: The Royal Knights have cruised all season — including a 16-3 win over Sebring in the playoff opener. Ace Makenzie Goluba hasn’t given up an earned run this month and has posted a 0.34 ERA during her sophomore year. Junior Morgan Tolle (eight home runs), and sophomores Madisyn Palmer (.512 average) and Arkansas commit Kenzi Maguire (17 extra-base hits) lead one of Tampa Bay’s most potent lineups for a team looking for its second straight region final appearance. The rival Mustangs have allowed more than one run in only one of their past five games. Jordan Fowler pitched a shutout in the quarterfinal matchup at Winter Haven, and keep an eye on slugger Kassidy Neptune (.493 average). After losing the first two games against River Ridge a combined 18-0, Mitchell battled to a 4-3 defeat in the district title game.
Class 5A: Hernando (21-7) at Gulf (15-13)
Winner gets: St. Johns Creekside/Citra North Marion winner in Friday’s region final
Skinny: Hernando won the first matchup 9-2 in the team’s spring break tournament, but Gulf was without ace Madison Morlan. The Leopards are looking for their first trip to the elite eight since 2001 and have an ace of their own, Courtney Riddle (1.16 ERA). Hernando is young but talented with strong hitters in Ashley Sims (.448 average), UCF commit Megan Lane (14 extra-base hits) and Tana McDaniel (11 doubles). Gulf is making its second playoff appearance and looking for its first region final berth. Catcher Nikki Sedivy ranks among the North Suncoast’s best and ranks among the five Bucs batting at least .400. Freshman Britney Pressler (22 RBIs, .400) looks like a future star in Gulf’s infield.
Class 2A: Deltona Trinity Christian (10-7) vs. Academy at the Lakes (9-5), 4 p.m. at Live Oak Park
Winner gets: Monticello Aucilla Christian/Quincy Munroe winner in Friday’s region final
Skinny: While the Wildcats were enjoying a first-round bye, Trinity Christian was knocking off Lecanto’s Seven Rivers Christian 4-1. USF commit and defending North Suncoast player of the year Lauren Evans continues to star for AATL with a .611 average and five triples. Skyler and Sydney Boynton also rank among the team’s best batters, and Sydney has recorded 94 strikeouts in 77 innings. The Wildcats advanced to the region final last year.
Photo: Gulf catcher Nikki Sedivy