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District softball: Wharton, Bloomingdale move on out of tough 8A-7 quarters

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Mon. April 13, 2015 | Bob Putnam | Email

TAMPA — Destinee Elmore bats ninth in Wharton’s lineup for a reason. She is more of a singles hitter who bunts and slaps to get on base.

In fact, Elmore had yet to produce an extra-base hit this season entering Monday’s Class 8A, District 7 quarterfinal game against Riverview.

In the fifth inning, Elmore had two strikes and was forced to swing away. She smacked a pitch that sailed over the left-centerfield fence for a solo home run, the first of her career. That blast tied the score at 2 and an inning later Mackenzie Allen scored the winning run off an error for a 3-2 victory.

“I struck out the last at-bat and I didn’t want to do that again,” Elmore said of her homer. “I wanted to make contact. I felt like I hit the ball pretty hard, but I thought it might have just been a double or something. I kept watching it travel and it was the greatest feeling.
“It was a big hit for my team and the biggest of my career.”

The Wildcats (13-7) play top seed and host Plant in today’s semifinals at 6.

In Monday’s other quarterfinal, defending 8A state champion Bloomingdale beat Alonso 3-0. Bulls pitcher Lace Smith, a Buffalo signee, threw a five-hit shutout and recorded 13 strikeouts.

Smith got all the run support she needed in the second inning when Mariah Blackmon and Lexi Chevalier each hit solo homers.
Bloomingdale (17-7) will play No. 2 seed Newsome in today’s semifinals at 4.

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