Part of her hand was bruised and swollen. Freshman Anya Muyres didn't seem to mind.
One pitch after being hit by a foul ball, Muyres keyed a five-run third with a two-run single as Academy of the Holy Names defeated Arcadia DeSoto County 5-3 Thursday night in a rematch of last year's Class 4A region quarterfinal.
Trailing 1-0 in the third, AHN coach Don Barron had the Jaguars (21-3) play small ball.
Three of the eight hitters in the inning bunted, and Muyres was instructed to do likewise with runners on second and third. But when an inside pitch deflected off Muyres' bat and hit her hand, she was allowed to hit away. After a brief timeout, Muyres' single to center scored Ashton Hill and Caroline Sutton, giving AHN the lead for good. All five runs were unearned as DeSoto (13-11) committed its only two errors of the game.
"(DeSoto's) infielders were playing a little back and we saw the opportunity to get the faster runners in front of me home," Muyres said. "Coach told me to squeeze the runner in (Hill from third), but the ball hit the side of my hand. I was extremely happy I got the runs in."
Muyres, who missed a major portion of last year with turf toe, scored on an error, and Christina Gerecke and Victoria Valdes also crossed the plate on fielder's choices. Muyres went 3-for-3, including a double.
Winning pitcher Alexandra Gerecke retired 11 of the final 12 batters she faced after escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth.
MORE 4A: Shaila Warren went 3-for-4, including an inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the sixth inning that tied the score at 4-all, to help propel host Mulberry to a 5-4 victory over Tampa Catholic.
The Crusaders (15-11) scored two runs in the fourth inning on a throwing error, one in the fifth and another in the sixth to take a brief lead before Warren sparked her team. Erin Reynolds went 2-for-4 with a run scored, Julia Rogers was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Kim Rogers went 1-for-4 with an RBI for Tampa Catholic.
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2A: Lancers falter in extra innings
At Fort Myers, Southwest Florida Christian (14-6) scored the winning run off a pair of two-out bloop singles in the bottom of the 11th for a 2-1 victory, spoiling Cambridge Christian freshman Alea White's career day.
White struck out 16 and tied the score with a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh.
"It was a fun game to be a part of," Lancers coach Kevin Hickinbotham said. "You'd love to be on the other end of it for sure."
Both of Southwest Florida's decisive hits landed within 5 feet of each other in shallow right.
"They couldn't have pitched it with a pitching wedge within 5 feet of each other if they tried," Hickinbotham said. "Tip your hat to them, they hit good pitches."
Staff writer Joey Knight contributed to this report, which used information from the Ledger.