Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

Keystone Little League brings home three state titles

TAMPA — A trio of local teams from the same Little League park will get to do some extra traveling on summer vacation this year after winning state titles this past weekend and advancing to regional tournaments.

Keystone Little League's 9-10 softball team won the state championship in Orlando, defeating New Tampa 8-5 in the title game. Keystone advances to the Tournament of State Champions Softball Invitational in Luray, Va. Their first game is Friday, July 26, at 11 a.m. against Alabama.

Meanwhile, the Keystone 9-10 baseball team also moved on after beating Greater Naples 13-8 in the state final. That win earned them a berth in the Southeast Regional Tournament of Champions in Cordova, W.Va. It runs Saturday through Aug. 1.

And finally, Keystone's 11-12 softball team also captured a state title Monday with a 9-6 win against Windermere to move on to the Southeastern Regionals in Warner Robins, Ga. That tournament started Wednesday and runs through Tuesday.

Keystone's 9-10 softball team lost to New Tampa 5-3 in the tournament's opener but reached the semifinals with a 9-2 win against Valparaiso/Niceville. Keystone put the tying runs on base in the sixth inning against New Tampa, but could not push them across.

"I think that loss actually helped out a little because the girls didn't have much competition in sectionals," coach Tom Brennan said. "They were down 5-0 and to be able to come back against a very good pitcher and have the tying runs on base showed them they had the ability to hang with that team."

Keystone breezed to an 8-1 victory against Cape Coral in the semifinals before setting up the rematch with New Tampa in the final. Keystone again found itself down 3-0 after three innings, but scored two in the fourth, five in the fifth and one in the sixth for the victory. Keystone's Alyssa Rosenwasser (2-for-3 with three RBIs) and Stephanie Brennan (2-for-3) led the way offensively in the title game while Sydney Martin earned the win in relief, tossing the final three innings.

"It's been great to see the joy and determination in these girls," coach Brennan said.

Keystone advanced to the state tourney after a strong performance in sectionals at Northeast Little League in St. Petersburg. Keystone outscored the opposition 42-3 in three sectional games, including a pair of shutout wins.

The 9-10 team won the park's first ever baseball state title. Keystone is 13-0 and outscored opponents 172-30 during that stretch. Bobby Christy hit his 10th homer of All Star play and Keystone used a seven-run third to defeat Greater Naples.

"It's an amazing group of boys," coach James Jackson said. "Their goal as a team was to win districts and they have just kept going and going."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected]

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