PALM HARBOR — For Palm Harbor University, the formula for success in its region quarterfinal with Brandon was simple: get on base and Madison O'Brien will do the rest.
The senior shortstop, having already driven in four runs in the first two innings, came to the plate with the bases loaded in the fourth.
She made the most of the opportunity, turning on a pitch and sending it over the fence for a grand slam. The home run was her fourth of the year and second grand slam. She drove in eight of the Hurricanes' nine runs en route to a 9-1 thumping of the Eagles.
"Well, at this rate I think we're in a good mindset," O'Brien said. "We're all in it; we want to go to state. This year it's a big opportunity, and we need to take it and jump on it."
Megan Copeland and Lindsay Fenlon reached base early and often out of the first two spots in the lineup, setting the stage for O'Brien's big day. They combined to go 6-of-7 with four runs scored. Each had a steal, and Fenlon drove in the PHU's ninth run.
Taylor Sabol pitched seven strong innings, scattering four hits and striking out 11.
"We set the table for (O'Brien). …Megan is constantly on base. Lindsay is very unselfish," PHU coach Chuck Poetter said.
"If we execute our offense we can go deep."