Scouting Admiral Farragut’s state softball semifinal

The Blue Jackets are back in Vero Beach to defend their Class 3A state title.
Admiral Farragut centerfielder Haley Saylor (1) catches a pop-fly in the bottom of the third inning during last year's Class 3A state championship game vs. Cornerstone Charter. (ANDRES LEIVA   |   Special to the Times)
Admiral Farragut centerfielder Haley Saylor (1) catches a pop-fly in the bottom of the third inning during last year's Class 3A state championship game vs. Cornerstone Charter. (ANDRES LEIVA | Special to the Times)
Published May 20

Admiral Farragut (18-10) takes on Jacksonville University Christian (18-4) at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex (formerly Historic Dodgertown) in Vero Beach.

How they got there

Admiral Farragut defeated Southwest Florida Christian 13-2 and Moore Haven 13-3. University Christian defeated Niceville Rocky Bayou Christian 11-0 and Tallahassee North Florida Christian 16-11

Top players

Admiral Farragut: SS Krystina Hartley, So., (.487 avg, 7 HRs, 27 RBIs); OF Haley Saylor, Jr., (.370 avg, 2 HRs, 22 RBIs); 2B Alexis Hernandez, Jr., (.438 avg, 2 HRs, 18 RBIs), P Brielle Benefield, Jr., (1.85 ERA, 132 Ks); 3B Katya Fe, Sr. (.486, 9 RBIs)

University Christian: (Team was the only one in Class 3A that did not provide stats to the FHSAA) C Niyah Morgan, Sr.; P Sophia Kardatzke, 7th; 2B Erin Hutchens, Fr.; 3B Jaleigh Harris, 7th.

Outlook

The Blue Jackets return to Vero Beach to defend their state title. This is the third time in the past four seasons Admiral Farragut has played in the semifinals. The previous three appearances were under Linda Derk, now a hitting instructor for Great Britain’s national team. Bill Hoopes, a longtime travel coach who was at Wesley Chapel last season, took over the program. He inherited a roster that returned every starter. To prepare for another deep postseason run, Hoopes put together a schedule that yielded few easy nights. The Blue Jackets took their lumps early and started 7-9. Since then, Admiral Farragut has been a tear, winning 11 of its past 12 games. Krystina Hartley, an FSU commit, is the big bat in the lineup. Four of her team-leading seven home runs have come in the past three games. University Christian is in the state semifinals for the time since 2016 when the program reached the title game. The Christians were a district runnerup. They have a young team with just two seniors and four players who are seventh- or eighth-graders. Niyah Morgan, a catcher who has signed with Stetson, is the team’s leader.

Read more

[ Scouting Tampa Catholic’s state softball semifinal ]

[ Scouting Academy at the Lakes’ state softball semifinal ]

[ Growing pains soothed for Admiral Farragut softball ]

[ Admiral Farragut’s grit brings state softball glory ]

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