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4A softball: Zephyrhills' bats thrive under pressure

ZEPHYRHILLS — A prime opportunity was about to be wasted. Zephyrhills had the bases loaded with no outs before a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the first inning.

Standing between Pasco ace Courtney Brandt and finesse escape was Bulldogs senior Geanna Arnold, a veteran hitter with veteran mentality. Down one ball and two strikes, Arnold cracked a hit up the middle for a pair of RBIs to spark an offensive flood. Zephyrhills went on to win 12-2 in six innings to advance to Friday's region semifinal against Mitchell.

Perhaps the most stunning statistic: Zephyrhills scored every run with two outs.

"We've done that all year; it's been really crazy," Zephyrhills coach Craig Milburn said. "We've scored a lot of times with two outs. I keep telling them it's not over until we get the third out."

Among the Bulldogs' top producers was Arnold, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Ashley Pinkston went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Lauren Pasquale 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Pasquale also had a stellar effort on the mound with eight strikeouts, four hits, four walks and no earned runs.

Pasco had an opportunity to answer Zephyrhills in the top of the second with the bases loaded and one out. But credit the sharp fielding of George Washington signee Lacey Cook, who threw home to spark a 5-2-6 double play.

The Pirates picked up two runs in the third after a passed ball scored Sarah Burchfield and Kelli Parker.

A Pasquale RBI single made it 6-2 in the fourth, then her RBI single sparked a six-run sixth that ended with Pinkston's walk-off single to score the final two runs.

4A softball: Zephyrhills' bats thrive under pressure 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 11:14pm]
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