LAND O'LAKES — There is a pond just beyond the leftfield fence at Sunlake's new softball field. The Seahawks agreed that whoever hit the first home run over the fence during a game got to name it.
That pond is now called Dittman Cove. Senior leftfielder Samantha Dittman flew one over the leftfield wall on her way to batting for the cycle Friday in a 12-5 rout of Gulf.
"It feels so awesome, I have a cove named after me," Dittman said. "I wasn't doing anything different, I was just thinking base hit and it went over the fence."
Dittman was 4-of-5 with three runs and six RBIs. She tripled in the first inning, doubled in the third; she homered in the fourth and singled as the second-to-last batter in the sixth.
"She has been this way all season," Sunlake coach John Dawkins said. "She is just in a zone right now. That is her fourth home run this year so far. She had 12 RBIs in the Springstead game so she is just seeing the ball really, really well."
The Buccaneers (4-4) took a 2-0 lead when Taylor Bruckner lobbed a double into leftfield, driving in two runs. The lead was short-lived, however, as Sunlake batted through the order and made it 6-2.
The Seahawks (8-3) scored in the third and fourth innings while keeping Gulf off the base paths, taking an 11-2 lead.
The Bucs stepped to the plate in the fifth inning and drove in three runs, keeping them from an early exit via the mercy rule.
"We have a freshman pitcher that is going to throw strikes," Dawkins said. "She is going to be around the plate. We know that so that is why we have to get up and swing the bats ourselves."
Texas transfer Chloe Fletcher took the field for the first time as a Seahawk. She batted sixth in the lineup and went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a steal.
"This was her first day eligible and we wanted to get her in there to see some pitching and swing the bat," Dawkins said. "She was a little anxious but she settled in."