DADE CITY — Longtime, nearby rivals and Class 5A, District 8 foes Zephyrhills and Pasco are headed in opposite directions. The Bulldogs won their third straight game Friday, 5-2 over the Pirates, who have lost three in a row.
“It keeps us up at the top of the district standings,” said Zephyrhills coach Craig Milburn, whose team hosts this year’s 5A-8 tournament. “The seeding’s going to be important.”
A defensive gem by third baseman Jennifer Rennard in the bottom of the third inning prevented Pasco from closing in on Zephyrhills’ 4-1 lead. With one out and the bases loaded, Rennard made a backhand snare of Kaylee Britton’s line drive and threw to first baseman Lindsey Hupp for a double play.
Toni Gibson singled and Kelli Parker doubled with one out, prompting Milburn to call for an intentional walk to Jordan Lane, Pasco’s most dangerous hitter.
“It just gives you an easy play to make anywhere,” Milburn said.
Karisten Deem (5-1) scattered five hits, struck out four and walked two. The senior right-hander also singled and scored in the first and second innings before knocking in the Bulldogs’ final run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Zephyrhills took a 3-0 lead in the first on run-scoring singles by Tori Jordan, Hupp and Rennard. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 4-0 in the second with Deem reaching on a single before stealing second and third, just like she had in the first. Unlike the first inning when she scored on Jordan’s hit, Deem raced home before Jordan was tagged out on the back end of a rundown.
Amber Caudill drove in both runs for Pasco. She followed Lane’s double in the second with a double. In the sixth, Lizzy Burchfield drew a leadoff walk and came in on Caudill’s sacrifice fly.
Parker (0-2), who took the loss, allowed nine hits with a walk and a strikeout.