TAMPA — St. Petersburg Catholic sophomore pitcher Kristy Fudge was fully aware that she missed out on a no-hitter by the slimmest of margins the last time she faced Berkeley Prep. The one hit came in the seventh inning with two outs.
Fudge had no such troubles Wednesday night, striking out nine while no-hitting the Buccaneers in a 2-0 win in the Class 3A, District 10 semifinals. Top-seeded St. Petersburg Catholic advances to today's final against No. 2 Tampa Catholic.
Fudge's dominant outing featured five innings where she retired Berkeley batters in order and came with just two walks. Though the Bucs hit several balls hard to the outfield, the Barons' defense helped keep the no-hitter alive.
"We have such a good defense, I feel I can throw what I want," said Fudge, 7-3 on the season. "(Berkeley) hit a lot of balls but my defense was really great."
St. Petersburg Catholic got all the scoring it needed in the third inning.
After Alex Troyer reached base on an error, Madison Saganowich crushed a pitch from Berkeley Prep pitcher Jenny Weissman over the fence at the deepest part of centerfield.
It was one of the few mistakes made by Weissman, who allowed just four hits while striking out five.
Fudge, meanwhile, made her 2-0 lead stand up. She had at least one strikeout in each inning, including the game's final batter.
"I wasn't really worried about it this time," she said of losing another no-hitter. "As long as we win. As long as we advance, I'm happy."