Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gators stay cool under pressure

NEW PORT RICHEY — The first thought was disbelief.

After four rainouts there were no clouds, no puddles and not a drop of water to keep Land O'Lakes and River Ridge from playing. Even the cold air biting at everyone's fingers Tuesday night wasn't enough to call it off early.

In signature fashion, Gators ace Michelle Bradley polished off another solid performance, striking out Royal Knights cleanup hitter Michelle McKonly to seal a 5-3 victory.

McKonly represented the tying run with Jenn Karl on second base. The potent River Ridge (11-2) lineup was suddenly silenced by Bradley's 10 strikeouts. The Royal Knights entered the game with six batters hitting .500 or better.

"She came up here and was intense in the game," Land O'Lakes coach Jamie Martin said of Bradley. "She was intense in the game. She threw the ball really well."

Land O'Lakes (12-0) took control of the Sunshine Athletic Conference as the lone undefeated team on the North Suncoast. The Gators broke out quickly, cashing in on a bases-loaded single by Christina Rosario for a 1-0 lead.

"She just started hitting," Martin said. "She came up tonight and had a couple of big hits to help us out."

Brittany Knipp made it 3-0 on a single to score Alexis Aubuchon and Loren Smith.

Land O'Lakes loaded the bases in the first, fourth and fifth innings.

"Everyone had their little key thing to put in," Martin said. "We're starting to just become a really complete team."

River Ridge scored in the third, fifth and seventh innings, but couldn't piece together a string of hits or dig up the big rally other than threatening to tie it in the seventh.

"You can't end the game on ball four," River Ridge coach Ernie Beck said. "You have to swing at strikes."

Gators stay cool under pressure 03/25/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  2. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70


    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  4. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.
  5. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern


    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.