SEMINOLE — Senior Night has been kind to Seminole, so much so Warhawks coach Mark DeRuzzo can't remember losing on the night in his 13-year tenure at the school.
Tuesday against Tarpon Springs was no different, save for maybe a few extra butterflies on the home side.
On an evening when Seminole honored Andrea Ashcraft, Anthonette Cabili, Kaci Huneke and Kaycee Lisa, it was a pair of sophomores who made sure the Warhawks seniors didn't graduate with a loss in their final regular-season home game in a 2-1 victory over the Spongers.
Tenth-grade pitcher Emily Crawford gave up one run and three hits in the first inning but was perfect the rest of the way, retiring the final 18 batters.
And with runners on second and third in the bottom of the seventh of a 1-1 game, fellow sophomore Jennifer LaBau hit a grounder to second that could have been the final out. The Tarpon second baseman's throw was high and pulled the first baseman off the bag, allowing the winning run to cross home plate.
"It was a nerve-racking situation," LaBau said. "I think maybe (the second baseman) rushed her throw to get out of it."
Seminole (13-5) had an equally difficult time with Tarpon starter Jessica Allen, a freshman who gave up just one run through the first six innings despite walking six and allowing runners to reach scoring position in six of seven innings. In the seventh, though, an error and a base hit put runners at first and second with one out. A ground out moved the runners over, setting up LaBau's heroics.
Tarpon (12-10) scored the opening run in the first inning when Annie Causey's infield single scored Felicia Vaporis. Seminole answered in the second, capitalizing on an errant pickoff throw that allowed Tiffany Race, pinch running for Crawford, to score from third.
"Both pitchers were outstanding," DeRuzzo said. "It just came down to who got the break."
Canterbury falls to HCA in 10 innings
ST. PETERSBURG — Seven innings weren't enough as Hernando Christian's Mary Ellen Langley and Canterbury's Krissy Longstreet got into a late-game pitchers' duel.
The Lions prevailed, scoring four runs in the top of the 10th to win 8-4.
"Normally when we're challenged we haven't come through," Lions coach Sue Murphy said. "We're finally peaking at the end."
The Lions struck first with a run in the third inning. Kimberly Armstrong led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Jaclyn Boever. Langley hit the first of three triples to drive in Armstrong.
Canterbury responded with a three-run third. Haleigh Reddick led off with a walk and Macey Hall followed with a single. Longstreet tripled to left scoring Reddick and Hall, and she later scored on an error to give the Crusaders a 3-1 lead.
After the Lions scored three in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead, the Crusaders tied it the sixth.
After three more innings of stellar pitching, the Lions finally broke through and the Crusaders committed two errors.
Langley closed out the Crusaders 1-2-3 to end the game.
"(Langley) does both pitching and catching so well," Murphy said. "This was a really sweet win and exactly what we needed."