LUTZ — The balls — outside, low, high — got her in a seventh-inning jam. The wild pitch put her in deep trouble.
But it was a pitch thrown right over the plate that ultimately did all the damage.
Needing just one strike to shut out Braden River, Steinbrenner's Jaclyn Amato threw a much-too-tasty fastball right down the middle, and Ashley Allard smacked it deep into the leftfield gap to score two runs and give the Pirates a stunning 2-1 victory in a Class 4A region quarterfinal Tuesday night.
The loss by a team with seven freshman starters didn't seem to sting too much, though it did initially take the words out of coach Colleen Sanders' mouth as she just smiled and sighed.
"Our goal when the season started was a .500 record," said Sanders, whose team finished 17-6. "After we did that, we said let's go out and win the district. I think we exceeded everyone's expectations."
Steinbrenner seemed to do that in every sport, especially the girls, where the Warriors captured district championships this season in volleyball, soccer, tennis and softball, a remarkable achievement for a first-year school.
They nearly added to the success Tuesday, as catcher Alia Serafini hit the first home run ever on their home field in the third inning to make it 1-0.
But they couldn't add to the lead, stranding 10 runners, and then in the seventh couldn't hold it.