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Softball: PHU’s early lead holds vs. Seminole

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Tue. March 4, 2014 | Andy Warrener

PALM HARBOR — The Seminole-Palm Harbor University rivalry still sizzles, even if Tuesday’s game was mostly one-sided and the teams are no longer district foes.

The ’Canes (8-1) exploded in the second inning, taking a 10-1 lead and putting the Warhawks under threat of a mercy rule. To Seminole’s credit, it got three runs in the fifth inning and another in the sixth but ultimately fell 15-7 to PHU.

The Warhawks (7-3) got one run in the first and the ’Canes got two. Then PHU stepped up to bat in the second and devoured starting pitcher Brooke McEntire. McEntire got the first two outs in the inning but an error put nine-hitter Kelsy Levee on base and leadoff hitter Alayna Gallagher doubled her in. Baily Wilson singled in Gallagher and Logyn Lilley crushed a two-run homer over the wall in left-center.

The ’Canes weren’t done. Rachel Taylor doubled off the wall, Katie Flanagan walked, then Seminole brought on Julia McQueen in relief. Only Rebekah Mooneyhan blooped one into right that found the turf and two more runs scored.

Then in the third, the ’Canes got into the Warhawk bullpen again, when Taylor crushed a two-run homer over the rightfield wall. It brought Jordan Day out, and she got out of the inning, stranding three base runners.

PHU coach Kerry Katchuk started making substitutions in the bottom of the fourth with a five-inning mercy ruling in sight.

“I’ve got 11 freshmen and 22 kids on the team that work just as hard as any of the other,” Katchuk said. “They swing the bats okay, too, and they need playing time.”

Seminole’s Mackenzie Jahn had other ideas. The junior sent a three-run homer over the leftfield wall and turned the game into seven innings. Lilley, who closed out the final two innings on the mound, was 4-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk and three RBIs and three solid putouts from third base. Taylor, batting fourth, was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs.

“Logyn is a special player, but has been behind the last two county players of the year at third (base),” Katchuk said.

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