Make us your home page

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 bows out before state

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando was hosting a Class 5A region final a second straight season. And the Leopards were dominated from the start once again.

Belleview jumped ahead in the first inning Monday afternoon, and with an offensive outburst, eventually dispatched Hernando 18-4 at Tom Varn Park.

"Give Belleview credit," Hernando coach Kevin Bittinger said. "This was the best top to bottom hitting lineup we've faced all season."

The Leopards (27-3) were playing an afternoon game, a rarity for this time of year. The temperature at game time was 84 degrees, and with almost no wind, the heat felt far more intense on the field.

"(Blaming the heat) is the easy way out," Bittinger said. "We're better than that, and we have to own it."

Hernando ace Courtney Riddle (27-2) labored through her seven innings of work, giving up bloop singles early. But the Rattlers (25-5) eventually began to make solid contact. The senior was charged with 18 runs, only one unearned. She was also tagged for 20 hits, hitting four batters, walking one, and striking out only one.

"They are a great hitting team, and I was making good pitches," Riddle said. "Sometimes it doesn't work out the way you want it to."

Belleview, which came in hitting .426 as a team, lived up to that statistic. If you take away the eighth and ninth batters for the Rattlers, the lineup went a combined 20-for-32 with four doubles, 17 runs scored and 17 RBIs. Alex Suzuki led the team at 5-for-5 with two doubles, four runs and three RBIs.

Rattlers starter Jamie Adams (20-3) wasn't stellar, but she outdueled Riddle thanks to her ability to erase mistakes. In the complete game, the freshman struck out five and walked four, but only was charged with three earned runs. Belleview even had four defensive errors.

For senior-laden Hernando, it was disappointing. Creekside eliminated the Leopards 10-0 last year, but confidence was high heading into Monday.

"I told the girls, I'd rather have this group in back-to-back region finals than another group and win a state title," Bittinger said. "That's how much they mean to me."


• With an 11-0 victory over Orlando Christian Prep that lasted five innings because of the mercy rule, Canterbury earned its sixth trip to the Class 2A state semifinals in the past seven seasons.

• Bloomingdale plated two runs in the top of the first inning, and junior ace Lace Smith overpowered Vero Beach in a 2-1 Class 8A region final.

• In a back-and-forth game where Carrollwood Day trailed by three runs in the fourth inning, the Patriots rallied for a 12-7 victory over Cornerstone Charter.

State softball

At Historic Dodgertown, Vero Beach


8A: Bloomingdale vs. Cypress Bay

6A: Chamberlain vs. Lake Region winner

2A: Canterbury vs. Sarasota Christian


3A: Carrollwood Day vs. Moore Haven

Region softball: Hernando bows out before state 05/05/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2014 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.