LITHIA — Bloomingdale extended its season-opening unbeaten streak to seven Friday night with a 3-0 shutout of Newsome in a pivotal Class 8A, District 7 matchup.
Pitcher Lace Smith tossed a three-hitter. The junior right-hander, who this week committed to Buffalo, struck out 13 and walked two in seven innings.
"She's a passionate player who's working hard and she's proven it every game," said Bloomingdale first-year coach Mandy Schuerman. "In my opinion, she's the best pitcher in the county."
Newsome's pitching was nearly as effective with starter Claire Feldman and reliever Cassidy Davis combining on a three-hitter with seven strikeouts. But six walks and two infield errors did not help the Wolves (5-2, 2-2).
Bloomingdale (7-0, 4-0) scored the only run it would need in the top of the third. Kayleigh Walters drew a leadoff walk and raced to third when shortstop Annie Tarte threw the ball into right-centerfield on Lizzie Jackson's groundball. With runners at second and third and one out, Smith reached on a fielder's choice when Tarte fielded her grounder and threw home too late to get Walters.
Two walks and a bunt single by Walters loaded the bases for Bloomingdale in the fourth with Mariah Blackmon scoring on Jackson's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. Darby Bernaldo drove in the game's final run with a two-out single in the seventh that scored Jackson, who led off that inning with a walk.
"We don't talk about batting averages. We've done it all season. We've stuck to the same approach. It's team ball," said Schuerman, a former Bloomingdale assistant who last year coached at FIU and previously played at Florida.