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Inverness' title hopes end short

Simply put, this was not the same Inverness team. Not the same group that pushed seven-time defending world champion Naples to eight innings in a 1-0 loss Saturday. Not even close.

Caught a bit flat after its emotional loss, Inverness couldn't muster the hits to keep its state title hopes alive. Bloomingdale ended Inverness' season Sunday, taking an early lead and holding on for a 4-2 win to advance to today's losers' bracket final at the Senior Softball State Championship.

Inverness, after taking a trip to Brandon Town Center, will go home with memories of a spectacular run through the All-Star tournament.

"We just left (too) many runners on base," Inverness manager Mike Reynolds said. "We were hitting the ball, she (Bloomingdale starter Kayte Stanbery) only struck out one batter, but we were hitting it right at them."

Bloomingdale touched Inverness starter Laura Helt for two runs in the second inning, the second scoring when Inverness thought it had two outs and made a casual throw to first, allowing Jessie Ortiz to easily score from third.

Inverness stranded five runners in the third and fourth innings (bases loaded in the fourth), but finally struck back with a run in the fifth. Gina Pepe started the rally, sprinting for a bunt single, stealing second, then scoring on Gina Reynolds' sacrifice fly.

Bloomingdale, however, took advantage when Heltbegan to lose some steam on her pitches, taking a three-run lead into the seventh.

Inverness pulled to within 4-2 in the seventh on a double by Edie Poe, but didn't have enough left to pull off the victory.