Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

District softball: Springstead cruises into 6A-6 final

LECANTO — For the third straight season, Springstead will head to the playoffs, thanks to a semifinal win Tuesday night in the Class 6A, District 6 semifinals at Lecanto.

The Eagles easily handled Citrus 10-0 in six innings behind the dominant pitching of ace Alexis Adams.

Adams tossed a complete game with five strikeouts, and among the senior's punchouts was her 200th of the season.

"With the way Alexis has been pitching, we knew that if we could give her a few runs, we'd be in good shape," coach Craig Swartout said. "We had good energy (in this game), and the girls were ready to play."

After a lull at the plate over the past few games, Springstead (19-4) also saw its bats wake up against the Hurricanes (12-13). Freshmen Louise Disi, Shelbi Ard and Brooke Fischbach led a balanced with each accruing at a hit and an RBI.

"It's pretty exciting as a coach to have such a good mix of seniors and freshmen," Swartout said. "The way our freshmen complement our upperclassmen has been great for our team."

The Eagles are two wins from the program record set last season.

Springstead meets Lecanto on Thursday after the Panthers dispatched Central 12-2 in their semi.

"It was a perfect opportunity for us," Central coach Tyson Ellis said. "We were playing solid defense, and then everything just seemed to snowball."

The Bears (10-16) were down 1-0 but took the lead on a two-run home run by sophomore Alex Eisenhower in the top of the fourth.

In the bottom half, Lecanto (15-8) answered thanks to some miscues in the field. The Panthers busted open the game with 10 runs to end it.

River Ridge, Mitchell win

River Ridge's Amber Jones blasted two home runs and drove in five RBIs, earning the Knights a seventh consecutive trip to regionals by defeating Sunlake 13-0 in the 6A-10 semifinals at River Ridge

"I was in a little bit of a slump and I had some good hits now and again, but this game really pumped me up," Jones said. "Coach was telling me to wait on the ball and it finally clicked, and you can see what happened."

What happened was a 3-for-5 night. River Ridge (17-4) had 18 hits, knocking Sunlake ace Courtney Durbin out after 32/3 innings.

"We've always struggled against Durbin," River Ridge coach Ernie Beck said. "The first time we played them it was 7-6. When we hit the ball it's tough to beat us."

The Knights scored four times in the fourth and put the game out of reach with five in the seventh. Brittany Forisse went 2-for-3 with a walk and Jada Clemons had a solo homer.

Freshman Makenzie Goluba made a bid for a no-hitter, going five innings before allowing a hit.

Sunlake (17-6) struggled to find an opening in River Ridge's sturdy defense. Goluba took a hot shot to the glove in the fifth, but Clemons was there to scoop the ball up from her shortstop position to throw out a hustling Amy Szymanowski.

Mitchell (15-7) squeaked out a 3-2 victory over Tarpon Springs (11-12) in the early semifinal. Paige Davis delivered the knockout shot with a solo homer to leftfield in the top of the sixth, making the score 3-1.

Tarpon's Lindsey White hit a two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but Mitchell's Madison Staniloiu got Andrea Faison to pop out, preserving the win.

Mitchell faces River Ridge for the district title Thursday at 7.

Basil Spyridakos, Times correspondent

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