ZEPHYRHILLS — No matter the opposing field, the announcers always get her name wrong.
Some make her last name rhyme with "bikini," while others emphasize the first part by doing their worst cow imitation.
Heather Muccino (pronounced muh-CHEE-no) set the record straight Friday, helping Mitchell (14-3) sweep a pair of games at Zephyrhills (14-7), a 10-0 no-hitter, then 1-0. The junior shortstop was 6-for-7 (one RBI) on the day, and scored the run in Game 2.
Muccino cracked her second double of the second game in the sixth inning. She was caught leaning off of second base, but Bulldogs pitcher Lauren Pasquale's pickoff attempt went into the outfield, and Muccino went to third. Mustangs coach Scott Bisbe waved her home, where Muccino managed to touch home just before the tag.
"We were lucky to win that second game," Bisbe said. "Great individual effort by Heather. She was going all the way with a great slide at the plate. It's a tough game for them to lose, but we'll take it."
The Bulldogs failed to muster much offense, managing one hit all day. Their lone weapon was a defensive one, as Pasquale had 10 strikeouts in Game 2.
Mitchell pitchers Cortney Radke and Cori Williams each pitched in both games, combining for 20 strikeouts. Radke started Game 1 and got in a zone, striking out eight in a row in one stretch, and Williams closed out the no-hitter. The Bulldogs got one runner aboard via walk.
Williams started Game 2 and Radke finished, the Bulldogs managing four baserunners.
But Mitchell's focus quickly turned to Tuesday's mega matchup at Sunshine Athletic Conference rival River Ridge. Bisbe, who was an assistant at River Ridge, anticipates a pitching duel between Radke and Royal Knights ace Lankyn Shull.
"There's no secrets," Bisbe said. "It's been a rivalry ever since we started. It's getting pretty good now."
Muccino said the trash-talking had already started. Several of the players are on the same travel ball teams, and they compare performances throughout the high school season.
"We know each other's weaknesses and strengths," Muccino said. "We always text each other good luck."
But probably not this Tuesday.