TARPON SPRINGS — Injury? What injury?
East Lake junior ace Alyssa Bache dispelled any doubt whether her prized arm was at full strength on Thursday with a 2-0 shutout victory over Seminole as the Eagles captured the Class 5A-12 championship.
It was Bache's third consecutive district title win, the first two coming with Countryside.
"I felt 100 percent from the start," said Bache, who had been dealing with a strained right forearm most of April. "I was so amped and ready to go. Once we got that first run, I was so excited because it just made me go for it even more."
Bache (21-2) and Seminole senior Sarah Read matched each other over the first two frames but the Eagles broke through in the third inning when Kirsten Bembnowski slapped a 3-2 fastball to center with two outs and advanced to second on an error.
Haley Davis followed with a single to bring Bembnowski home.
With the one-run lead, Bache bore down, and following a single by Emily Crawford at the start of the fourth, the USF-bound pitcher retired the last 12 batters she faced.
The Eagles (23-2) added a run in the fourth on Alyssa Weaver's two-out single to center.
"It's the type of win that's good for us to build on," East Lake coach Mike Estes said. "We beat a really good team in Seminole and we were challenged on both sides.
"It was comforting to see Alyssa pitch the way she did. I was a little worried but after that first inning, I could tell she'd be fine."