Class 4A, district 8
Pasco, Zephyrhills set for the final again
BROOKSVILLE — Thanks to Pasco's Colena Lazar, there will be a rematch in the title game.
Following Zephyrhills' 9-3 victory over Nature Coast in the first semifinal Thursday night, the main event pitted the best starting pitchers in the district, Pasco's Lazar and Springstead's Becky Powell, against each other.
In the end, Lazar got the best of things in a 2-0 win.
"I came out feeling really strong tonight," Lazar said. "I had a good feeling about this game."
The complete-game four-hit shutout featured a season-high 15-strikeout performance.
In the third inning, Colesa Lazar hit a one-out double. She was knocked in by the next hitter, catcher Megan Newsome, with an RBI single. The only other run the Pirates (22-2) scored was on a 210-foot home run from Colena in the sixth inning. Springstead finished the season 17-8.
Zephyrhills' early victory was due partly to their own solid play and partly to the shaky early-inning efforts of Nature Coast (19-6).
By game's end, the hits between the teams were tied at eight each, but thanks to walks and errors, Zephyrhills (20-6) scored four runs in the second frame, four runs that Bulldog coach Craig Milburn knew were crucial.
"They gave us four runs early, and that played a big part in things," Milburn said. "If we're going to move on any farther than this, we're going to have to hit much better."
Zephyrhills will have a chance to redeem itself from last season's 6-4 loss in the district finals. This is the third consecutive season the programs will face off in the championship game, with the record even at 1-1.
Derek J. LaRiviere,