Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3A softball: McKeel gets the better of St. Petersburg Catholic again

ST. PETERSBURG — Some day, St. Petersburg Catholic will defeat McKeel Academy in the playoffs and go on to win its first state championship.

For the third time in the past four years, McKeel knocked SPC out of the Class 3A playoffs. Tuesday, the Wildcats earned a 5-3 victory in a game where the Barons fell behind twice, immediately tied the score each time but couldn't rally after falling behind a third time.

It's the second straight year McKeel dropped the Barons in the region final. This one, though, seemed to sting more.

"It used to be Lake Highland Prep," SPC coach Tom Fabian said. "We'd get all the way to them and they'd kick our butts. Then it was Trinity Prep. Now it's McKeel."

Tied 1-all in the sixth inning, McKeel (15-15) took a 3-1 lead after Amber Presto's sacrifice fly scored Taylor Collins and Sam Rydzik singled home Brandi Barnett, who reached on a two-out triple.

It was the same scenario a year ago. The Barons (25-4) battled McKeel evenly early before the Wildcats offense ignited to put the game away late.

The Barons, though, didn't go away easily. In the bottom of the sixth, Nikki Parker led off with a base hit and scored when Bonnie Joyner followed with a standup triple. Shelby Ginty's sacrifice fly brought home Joyner, and suddenly the Barons had new life and a 3-all tie.

McKeel, though, quickly snuffed the Barons' hopes in the seventh. SPC starter Chloe Saganowich walked the first two McKeel batters to start the inning. An SPC error loaded the bases with no outs. After a force at home, McKeel's Cheyenne Benson smacked a liner into rightfield that scored two and gave the Wildcats a 5-3 lead.

Down to its last out in the seventh, the Barons' Madison Saganowich fouled off a handful of two-strike pitches before drawing a walk. Parker ripped a double down the rightfield line that had a chance to score Saganowich and maybe even Parker herself, but the ball rolled through an opening in the Barons' fence for a ground-rule double.

With the tying run in scoring position, Joyner, who had a double and triple in the game, sent a shot down the same path as Parker's double, but Rydzik gobbled up the ball at first to end the game.

"I think everybody would have liked to have that one more game," Fabian said. "That's all we were looking for, just to get past where we were before. But hey, we'll try again."

Lakeland McKeel5
St. Petersburg Catholic3


State softball

All semifinals at Plant City Stadium. Admission is $8 per game.

Class A: Canterbury vs. Lake Worth Christian

3A softball: McKeel gets the better of St. Petersburg Catholic again 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 9:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. As NCAA investigation continues, Baylor dances around sex-assault scandal


    In 1996, Southern Baptist-affiliated Baylor University lifted its 151-year-old ban and allowed dancing on its Waco, Texas campus.

  2. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  3. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  5. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399