ZEPHYRHILLS — A physically drained Sunlake squad failed to create a spark after the second inning, falling to Zephyrhills 8-3 Friday.
"We slept-walked through this whole week," Sunlake coach Johnny Dawkins said. "I think the girls are tired, to be honest with you. We played a lot of games already, have not had any rainouts, we had four games this week and it has just caught up with us."
A collective lethargy was apparent as Zephyrhills (14-5) stole second six times, oftentimes without even a glance in the runner's direction. Jennifer Patria and Lauren Pasquale led their team in stolen bases with two each.
"I've got some speed on my team," Bulldogs coach Craig Milburn said. "I have three or four kids that can run the bases pretty good."
Despite the final outcome, it was the Seahawks who struck first, scoring one run off two hits in the first inning. The Bulldogs responded with two runs, taking advantage of two runners on with no outs.
Then came the second inning when Sunlake (13-10) drove in another two runs then held the Bulldogs to three up, three down, taking a 3-2 lead. The game was shaping up to be a slugfest but as Zephyrhills started driving in runs, the Seahawks started losing focus. Sunlake had only 20 at-bats in its last five innings compared with Zephyrhills' 22 in their last four.
Leading the order and the team was Zephyrhills' Samantha Crews, who went 4-for-4 with two singles, a double, a triple and three RBIs. Geanna Arnold also came up big in the six spot, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Although Milburn was happy with his team's defense he was unimpressed with its energy and felt that valuable scoring opportunities were squandered. The Bulldogs stranded four runners.
"I thought we missed a few opportunities to open it up a little more, we just didn't do that," Milburn said.