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Through two glorious innings Wednesday, Dunedin stayed with Auburndale. The Falcons even had the lead after Tiona Hill singled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Aubrey Ehlers’ sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
Soon after, the Falcons’ dream softball season started to unravel. Auburndale began chipping away at the lead before taking command of the game for a 12-2 victory in the Class 5A region finals that ended in six innings because of the mercy rule.
Ehlers had trouble after being called for illegal pitches that led to Auburndale scoring a run in the second and third innings. By the fifth, Auburndale was ahead 5-1.
In the fifth the Falcons loaded the bases with no outs. But two groundouts resulted in runners being thrown out at home. Dunedin scored once on a walk but could not get any closer.
“We kept the game close for most of the game,” coach Roy Silver said. “It was an exciting atmosphere to play a game. There had to have been more than 1,000 people in the stands. It was a learning experience for us. We took some positive steps this season.”