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. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays scored that many in a single game during their two-plus week numbing stretch of offensive impotency, and in a home game in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi has another short outing in loss

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi turned in another short outing Saturday, failing to pitch four innings during the Rays' 7-6 loss.

    Wearing white armbands, umpire Chris Guccione (68), left, Carlos Torres (37)(not wearing armband), center facing, Dana DeMuth (32) center right, and Paul Nauert (39) talk before the start of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The World Umpires Association announced that umpires will be wearing white wristbands during all games to protest escalating verbal attacks on umpires and their strong objection to the Office of the Commissioner?€š€™s response to the attacks.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.