Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Region softball: Hernando ace steady as usual

Hernando senior Courtney Riddle goes the distance, giving up no earned runs or walks and striking out three.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Hernando senior Courtney Riddle goes the distance, giving up no earned runs or walks and striking out three.

BROOKSVILLE — After returning most of its roster from last season's region final appearance, Hernando came into this postseason with something to prove. The journey began with a 3-1 victory over Dunedin in Thursday night's Class 5A region quarterfinal at Tom Varn Park.

"There were a lot of what ifs after last year (in the region final)," Hernando coach Kevin Bittinger said, "but we've proven ourselves time and time again against tough competition."

Courtney Riddle (26-1) was masterful on the mound for the home team, tossing a complete-game three-hitter with no earned runs, no walks and three strikeouts. And although the Leopards (26-2) committed three errors, one of which resulted in the Falcons' lone run, the senior ace controlled the tempo of the game.

"(Courtney) did a good job of working ahead and locating her pitches," Bittinger said. "They have some pretty decent hitters and she kept them off-balance, just like she's done all year."

Riddle's counterpart, Dunedin ace Aubrey Ehlers (16-6), was almost as good against the Hernando lineup. The hurler had only one shaky inning, when the Leopards had four straight two-out hits to score three runs in the third.

Ehlers retired Kaylee Frascatore and Lauren Moore to start the inning before No. 9 hitter Erika Lewis slapped a single. Megan Lane followed by lining a two-strike pitch back up the middle for a single. Danielle Harvey knocked in Lewis with a single, and senior captain Tana McDaniel capped the scoring with a two-run double in the right-centerfield gap.

After a hit by pitch and an error, Dunedin (17-7) scored when Central Florida State College signee Tiona Hill hit a bloop single over first base. Hill will join Riddle at the collegiate level next season, with both signing to the same school.

Hernando advances to Tuesday's region semifinal against River Ridge. The Leopards and Royal Knights split their two games this season.

"If you're going to play River Ridge, you have to ready to play ball," Bittinger said. "They have some unbelievably talented hitters, so you have to pick your battles."

Region softball: Hernando ace steady as usual 04/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A rare treat Saturday for Rowdies: a home playoff game

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rowdies fans, set to be rewarded with their first home playoff match in five years, can also take a little credit for it.

    From left, Georgi Hristov, Joe Cole and Marcel Schafer are among the Rowdies’ top scorers.
  2. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Most important stat in Bucs-Bills game

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks about the uncertainty at quarterback for the Bucs as they go to Buffalo in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) intercepts a pass from Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. Bucs-Bills: Things to watch in Sunday's 1 p.m. game

    Bucs

    FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2017, file photo, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs past Atlanta Falcons' De'Vondre Campbell (59) and Deion Jones (45) during the second half of an NFL football game, in Atlanta. The Bills play against the Buccaneers in Buffalo on Sunday. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) NY182
  5. Koetter: QB Jameis Winston will start Sunday vs. Bills

    Bucs

    After five days of uncertainty, Jameis Winston will be starting at quarterback on Sunday as the Bucs play at Buffalo, coach Dirk Koetter announced Friday afternoon.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) watches a replay while sitting out with an injury during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.