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ZEPHYRHILLS — Starter Karisten Deem and reliever Jennifer Rennard combined on a four-hitter in Zephyrhills’ 9-2 win over Anclote in Friday’s Class 5A, District 8 matchup.
Deem, a senior who improved to 4-0, is in her first year as the staff’s ace and left with a commanding 8-2 lead.
“The pitching’s got to stay strong,” said Zephyrhills coach Craig Milburn, adding, “I’m trying to build (Deem’s) confidence.”
The host Bulldogs (4-1) capitalized on clutch hitting and Anclote errors. By the third inning they had eight runs on nine hits and five errors by the Sharks, who fell to 0-4.
“It’s the kind of game if you score early, you should be able to handle it,” said Milburn, who had several players out of position. “I’m just trying to let everybody contribute a little bit.”
Deem, Ashley Seekins and Hannah Cook each had three hits for Zephyrhills. Deem drove in two runs, including a double down the leftfield line for the first run in the bottom of the first inning, Seekins scored twice, and Cook had an RBI and scored once.
The Bulldogs scored three runs on five hits with Anclote making two errors to take a 3-0 lead in the first. Deem and Lindsey Hupp had run-scoring doubles and Cook hit an RBI single in that inning.
Anclote got its only runs in the top of the second. Deem hit Bella Borges and Jade Hice followed that with a run-scoring triple just inside the rightfield line. Hice raced home on Brianna Davis’ RBI groundout to first.
Zephyrhills’ biggest inning came in a four-run fourth, highlighted by RBI singles from Skylar Graves and Taylor Powell.