CLEARWATER — Sometimes, a little pressure makes all the difference.
Admiral Farragut freshman leadoff hitter Kyndal Olander used aggressive baserunning to force a senior-free Calvary Christian team into small but costly miscues. Those helped the Blue Jackets earn a 2-0 victory in a Class 3A region quarterfinal.
"I always play like that; a little excited," Olander said. "I have a lot of energy, and the softball field is where I can get it out."
Olander and senior Claudia Pizzarelli made for quite a tandem. In the first, Olander walked, went to third on Pizzarelli's bunt in front of the plate and scored on Sarah Schleich's grounder.
With two outs in the second, Olander singled, stole second standing up, moved to third on another Pizzarelli bunt single and scored when the senior forced a throw to second on the play.
"Claudia's been playing since eighth grade and had to suffer through 20-loss seasons," Farragut coach Linda Derk said. "For them to get their first-ever regional tourney win is huge."
Corynn Miner (three hits, 13 strikeouts, one walk) outpitched fellow sophomore Rachel Hunt (three hits, five strikeouts, five walks) for the victory.
"This was a great pitchers' duel and a great game," Warriors coach Vergil Morgan said. "We have everybody coming back next year, and we look forward to playing AFA in the playoffs next year."
3A: Keen sparks SPC past CCC
ST. PETERSBURG — Allison Keen did it on the mound and at the plate for St. Petersburg Catholic. She went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs while keeping Clearwater Central Catholic hitters off balance as the Barons rolled to an 11-2 region quarterfinal victory.
The Barons host Admiral Farragut on Tuesday.
The Marauders got to Keen in the first on Ashley Hancock's RBI single. But the Barons responded with three in the bottom of the inning as Sara Barlow had an RBI single and scored a run.
The Barons broke the game open with three runs in the second, including an RBI single from Keen and RBI double from Lena Trehy.
Keen made it 8-1 in the fourth with a homer to left-centerfield. The Barons tacked on three runs to make it 11-1. But Clearwater Central Catholic would not fall victim to the mercy rule as St. Petersburg Catholic fielding miscues extended the game.
The Barons had another chance to end it in the fifth but failed to score despite getting singles from Trehy and Keen to start the inning and having the bases loaded with one out.
5A: Blooper lifts River Ridge
NEW PORT RICHEY — Three runs scored on Melissa Moore's fifth-inning single, and River Ridge went on to beat Nature Coast 4-1.
Down 1-0 in the fifth, the Royal Knights (26-3) loaded the bases with one out. Freshman Abbey Primavera's first pitch in relief was wild, tying the score. One out later, Moore blooped a single to left to score Madisyn Palmer and Morgan Tolle, and her hustle to second base forced an errant throw that let her come all the way around to score.
"There's always extra pressure with two outs," Moore said. "But I just try to treat it like any at-bat."
Nature Coast (22-5) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Chyloe Gonzalez's triple and a sacrifice fly by Courtney David.
River Ridge's win sets up a third meeting with Hernando in the region semifinals. The teams split their previous two games.
Times staff writer John C. Cotey and correspondent Corey Long contributed to this report.