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PALM HARBOR — After a three-week wait to play district rival East Lake following a February rainout, Palm Harbor University wasted little time jumping all over the Eagles in Wednesday’s rescheduled game. The Hurricanes scored nine runs in the first three innings and cruised to a 10-4 Class 8A-8 district win.
PHU was led by Jess Adams, who had two home runs and three RBIs in her team’s 12-hit attack. Left-hander Rachel Taylor pitched a complete game to get the win.
“We came out here with some fire,” said Adams, who had her first two-home run game. “They are also a good hitting team so we knew we needed to jump on them early.”
The Hurricanes have not lost to a Pinellas County team in more than two seasons.
PHU (15-3) scored its first two runs in the first inning with two out. Logyn Lilley got a base hit off starter Gabby Orito. Adams followed with a home run to dead centerfield.
In the second inning, Rachel Zimmerman led off with a solo home run. PHU really applied the heat in the third.
Adams led off with her second home run, also to centerfield. With one out, Alayna Gallagher and Zimmerman singled. After another out and a walk to Katie Flanagan that loaded the bases, Moriah Connolly walked to force in a run.
Torey Scott then cleared the bases with a three-RBI double. Lilley doubled home Scott to make it 9-0. PHU sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning.
East Lake (14-6) got on the board in the fifth with two runs and added runs in the sixth and seventh. Hannah Roberts had a solo home run in the sixth.
“Our girls were really ready to play this game,” Hurricanes coach Kerry Katchuk said. “… I would’ve thought maybe we would score 10 runs, but I didn’t think we’d hold them to four. They are a good hitting team. I thought maybe it would be 10-9 or something like that.”