TRINITY — Gulf coach Rick Hohenthaner envisions a bright future for his youthful Buccaneers squad.
But Friday night his team went through some growing pains, committing three errors, and Mitchell combined timely hitting with another great performance by pitcher Courtney Radke in a 7-2 win over the Buccaneers.
"We hit the ball hard tonight," Mitchell coach Scott Bisbe said. "We had some clutch hits tonight and (Radke) threw the ball great and she always keeps us in the game."
The Buccaneers (1-3) took an early 1-0 lead when Amber Maxey's double to the centerfield fence scored USF commit Brittany Mayhill (two singles, one steal) from third. Mitchell (2-0) answered as Heather Muccino and Sara Brock scored off a couple Gulf errors and took a 2-1 lead. Radke (92 pitches) struck out 11 in six innings and allowed only the one early run.
Gulf had committed only two errors in its first three games.
Maxey, Gulf's starter, struggled throughout by allowing six hits and walking five.
The Mustangs tacked on two runs in the bottom of the third inning and three in the fifth to all but seal the win.
"Couple of errors and missed opportunities kept us from shutting them down in the first inning," Hohenthaner said. "But with two out and a key hit gave them the lead, and after that the momentum just continued to grow."