Spring Hill swept two extra-inning softball games against Fairview, La., to win the Dixie Ponytails X-Play World Series on Wednesday in Hartsville, S.C.
Coach Glenn Primavera led another elite Hernando County squad that had 10 of the girls who won the 2010 Dixie Angels World Series title. Spring Hill (12-1), which lost 2-1 to Fairview in the second round, got its revenge with 5-4 and 6-3 eight-inning victories in the championship round Wednesday.
Down 4-3 in the seventh inning of the first game, Spring Hill loaded the bases with two outs. Madyson Lamp struck out, but when the catcher dropped the ball, Lamp and the other runners all advanced as Fairview began celebrating. After a conference, umpires ruled that Paige Pfent's tying run counted.
After reliever Heather Shagoury set down Fairview in the top of the eighth, things ended in wild fashion. Miranda Arroyo singled and Megan Nelski dropped down a bunt. But the catcher's throw to first sailed into rightfield and when the outfielder's throw to third to get Arroyo went off line as well, she came home with the walkoff run.
Shagoury threw the first seven innings of the second game for Spring Hill but left tied 3-3.
In the top of the eighth, Spring Hill turned three walks and two hits into a winning rally. Pfent's single knocked in Abbey Primavera with the go-ahead run, and Lamp struck out the side in the bottom half of the inning to secure the title.
Plant City minors win Southeast crown
Plant City, with the same group that won last year's minors (ages 9-10) Southeast region title, won the Little League minors (10-11) Southeast Tournament of Champions baseball crown with a 4-1 victory over Tennessee in Greenville, N.C.
Plant City (11-1) beat a Goodlettsville, Tenn., team that had beaten it 5-2 in pool play and had reached the final of this event a year ago.
Plant City jumped ahead in the first inning 2-0 when Hunter Emerine knocked in Braxton Plunk and Bryar Christian.
Plant City starter J.J. Gonzalez took care of the rest in 71 pitches, tossing a complete-game two-hitter, surrendering only one run and finishing the tournament with a 2.67 ERA.
Christian went 2-for-2 with two runs and a stolen base. The standout catcher wrapped up one of the best individual performances in the three-year history of the tournament by hitting .667 with eight RBIs and five runs in five games.
Minors baseball champions do not play beyond the region stage.