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)

Softball: Freshman pitcher doesn't blink in narrow Jefferson win

TAMPA — When the ballpark sound system briefly malfunctioned Friday evening at Jefferson High, players and spectators improvised with a spontaneous a cappella rendition of the national anthem.

Moments thereafter, Dragons freshman Nikki Lopez conquered her own technical difficulty.

Escaping a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the first inning, the 5-foot-3 right-hander scattered five hits the rest of the way en route to a 1-0 triumph against Steinbrenner (4-3, 3-1) in a pivotal Class 4A, District 9 game.

"You know what, this is her third game pitching so far and she said, 'I haven't pitched good yet,' " Dragons coach Eve Suarez said. "But tonight she said, 'I'm ready for it.' "

Employing a curve, screwball and changeup, Lopez recorded seven strikeouts, the most critical one on a called third strike to No. 5 hitter Ann Scios that ended the Warriors' first-inning threat.

Steinbrenner had loaded the bases when Savannah Scott and Kaylee Ferrell singled and Kellee Ramsey reached on an infield error. Lopez then forced cleanup hitter Alia Serafini to hit into a double play before retiring Scios.

Lopez also notched inning-ending strikeouts in the third and fourth with runners in scoring position.

"I knew my team would back me up so I wasn't too nervous (in the first inning)," Lopez said. "A little bit, but not that bad."

Jefferson (4-1, 2-0) would get the only run it would need in the third when shortstop Kalyn "KK" Cenal singled to center, stole second and scored on Nadina Sola's two-out single up the middle.

Softball: Freshman pitcher doesn't blink in narrow Jefferson win 02/25/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return

    Blogs

    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.