OCALA — Hernando Christian made Ocala Meadowbrook pay for its defensive meltdown in a big way on Thursday night in the Class A-6 championship game.
The Lions (19-5) rallied from an early five-run deficit with a 12-run effort in the second inning, keyed by seven errors from the Mustangs, in a 14-10 win.
"I never thought (the score of) this game would end up what it did," said HCA coach Ernie Chatman, whose program has claimed six consecutive district titles.
Jackie Butler's leadoff home run in the second was the only earned run of the frame for HCA, as Meadowbrook (13-5) was let down by its defense.
"It was ugly," Mustangs coach Bert Thomas said. "The second inning just killed us."
The Lions and Mustangs finished with eight errors each on the night.
HCA led 14-4, before seeing Meadowbrook pull to within four with a three-run effort in the sixth.
Butler (3-for-4, three runs scored, three RBIs) led the Lions at the plate, while Madison Manuel, Audrey Allen, and Courtney Riddle had two hits each.
Riddle (7-2) tossed 52/3 innings in relief of starter Alicia Field, who was knocked out during Meadowbrook's four-run outburst in the second.
2A-11: Northside rolls
ST. PETERSBURG — In last year's district championship, Northside Christian suffered a heartbreaking defeat to St. Stephen's, a team the Mustangs had beaten twice during the season. This year, Jessica Anderson ensured that wouldn't happen, taking care of business on the mound and at the plate in leading Northside to a 5-0 victory over Shorecrest and a berth in the state playoffs.
"We focused and practiced really hard the last two days," Anderson said. "We played all seven innings and put our hearts into it."
Anderson threw all seven innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out eight. She also had the big hit of the game, a three-run double in the fourth.
Nathan Cowan, Times correspondent