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State softball: Bloomingdale (23-3) vs. Cypress Bay (21-6)

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Tue. May 6, 2014 | Matt Baker | Email

State softball: Bloomingdale (23-3) vs. Cypress Bay (21-6)

State softball 

Where: Historic Dodgertown, Vero Beach 

Admission: $9 per session; $8 for parking

Class 8A: Bloomingdale (23-3) vs. Cypress Bay (21-6), 4:50 p.m. 

How they got here: Bloomingdale d. Sarasota Riverview 1-0, Alonso 3-1, Vero Beach 2-1. Cypress Bay d. Douglas 8-2, Cooper City 7-1, Park Vista 6-4 (11 innings).

History at state: After missing the playoffs each of the past four seasons, Bloomingdale is back at state for the first time since 2004 behind first-year coach Mandy Schuerman. The Bulls’ only state title came in 1993, but they finished second in 1997. Cypress Bay was the runnerup last season and in 2004.

Matchup to watch: Bloomingdale pitcher Lace Smith vs. Lightning pitcher Sarah Maloney. Smith, a Buffalo commit, has emerged as perhaps Tampa Bay’s biggest ace. Her perfect game in the region quarterfinals and 12-strikeout performance Monday are just the latest highlights of a stellar season. She holds a 0.58 ERA with 266 strikeouts and is averaging barely more than one walk per game. Smith will face off against Maloney, one of the state’s top pitchers last spring. Though she’s been hampered with a knee injury, she still holds a 1.20 ERA with 183 strikeouts.

Notables: Elizabeth Jackson leads Bloomingdale with a .486 batting average. Smith (.343) and Taylor Engman (.337) are the only other Bulls hitting at least .330. …Tyler Farrell is tied for the team lead with two home runs. …Boston College commit Lexi DiEmmanuele is Cypress Bay’s top hitter (.494 average, three triples).

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