DADE CITY — There wasn't much to be said after the opening night for softball between Land O'Lakes and Pasco.
The Pirates, who returned many of their starters from last season's team, took advantage of five passed balls off Gators pitcher Bianca Bullock and behind a 13-strikeout, no-hit performance from Pasco pitcher Courtney Brandt cruised to an 11-0 five-inning victory over Land O'Lakes on Tuesday night.
"We started catching up to the pitcher and had a great night hitting the ball," Brandt said. "It took us like three innings to get used to the pitching. I like pitching in the cold. I was just really on tonight. It's a good win to start off the season."
Brandt took no time in looking like she was in midseason form, striking out nine of the first 10 batters she faced. If not for a walk in the first inning, she would have thrown a perfect game through five innings.
Pasco, which lost a couple preseason games to Auburndale and Lake Wales last week, played aggressively on the basepaths against the Gators and in the bottom of the second inning scored seven runs off two hits. But Land O'Lakes' pitching could not get on track, as Bullock walked six batters, contributing to the Pasco offensive outburst.
Pirates outfielder Vanessa Mills and infielder Lizzy Burchfield knocked in two and three runs in, respectively.
"I didn't really tell them anything before the game," Pasco coach Lisa Herndon said. "We had our preseason game the other day and the girls were hitting pretty well. A lot of the girls play travel ball so they're used to faster pitching. On a cold night, it was great to have the game end early."