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Softball: Sunlake 15, Hernando 10

LAND O'LAKES — The two team huddles that occurred after Sunlake's wild 15-10 victory over Hernando couldn't have been more different.

On one side was Sunlake. The Seahawks (6-1), who trailed 8-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, scored 13 unanswered runs and after the game had a brief gathering. Then the players went off to clean the field and meet with friends and family.

"The kids fought back hard," Sunlake coach Jami Finan said. "We came together as a team. The girls were playing for a cause, breast cancer awareness, and they just fought back really hard.

"The girls were frustrated early on, but we were able to get some hits, and they just kept hitting."

As for Hernando (4-3), which lost 6-3 to Sunlake this season in Brooksville, the Leopards received a long lecture from coach Kevin Bittinger, who implored his players to work on eliminating mental errors.

The Leopards committed two errors and allowed 11 hits between the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings alone, as the Seahawks erased a six-run deficit into a 15-8 advantage moving into the top of the seventh.

"What I told the girls is when you score 10 runs in a high school softball game, you should win," Bittinger said. "We recorded 18 outs, and I think we gave them 28. Just a lot of dropped fly balls, not executing steals, booting ground balls, and you just can't do that against Sunlake.

"Physically we have the team that can compete with anyone around here. It's the mental aspect were working on."

Despite Seahawks pitcher Tyler Riendeau (seven strikeouts) allowing the early runs, the team bounced back and allowed only two runs through the fifth inning and on.

Sunlake centerfielder Chloe Fletcher, who had five RBIs, claimed an impressive feat by notching two triples and going 4-for-4 overall.

Softball: Sunlake 15, Hernando 10 03/01/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 11:10pm]
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