Canterbury’s quest for a fifth straight final four appearance and second straight state title ended Thursday with a 2-1 loss to Boca Raton Grandview Prep.
It happened in heartbreaking fashion with the Crusaders allowing two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Scoreless through five innings, Canterbury (18-12) found some life in the sixth when Lindsay Graves reached on an error and Maddie Posey walked with two out. Danielle Romanello followed with a single to bring home Graves and give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
That appeared as if it would be enough considering how dominant Emily Winsesett was on the mound. She allowed just one hit through the first six innings. But in the seventh, she gave up four hits that led to both runs.
The game was delayed twice this week because of heavy rain in the Boca Raton area. The win was redemption for Grandview Prep, which lost to Canterbury in extra innings in last year’s state championship game.
The teams were paired in the same region this season and seemed destined to meet in the region final. That’s why Crusaders coach Jody Moore scheduled so many quality teams during the regular season to prepare for a game like Thursday’s.
“Both pitchers and defenses played great,” Moore said. “Really, any team could have won and any play could have been the difference. Give credit to Grandview Prep. They could have buckled when they were down and they didn’t.”