Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. HomeTeam

A quick look at tonight’s region softball semifinals

The playoffs begin for seven Tampa Bay teams in Classes 4A-A.

Game times vary, noted below.

Class 4A

Tampa Catholic (17-8) at Montverde (15-9), 7

The Crusaders are back in the postseason after a one-year absence. They have a tough task with a road trip to face defending state semifinalist Montverde. The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak with a pair of wins in the 4A, District 3 tournament to win the title. Tampa Catholic is more than capable of advancing. The Crusaders beat five playoff-bound teams in the regular season. Paige Lassiter (.516 average) and Alexa Russo (three homers) lead Tampa Catholic’s offense.

Related: RELATED: Calvary Christian shakes off nerves to rally

The First Academy (17-11) at Calvary Christian (23-3), 7

The Warriors are making their fifth playoff appearance and first since 2015. Now, they are trying to take the next step with their first postseason victory. Calvary Christian is in good position to do that after setting the school record for wins in the regular season. The lineup is powerful with three players — Hayley Eaton (.563), Leah Jarnac (.540) and Kelly Ulatowski (.508) — hitting above .500. The Warriors also have 19 homers this season, one shy of the team goal they set for the season. Their opponent, First Academy, is back in the postseason after missing out last year.

Related: RELATED: Now it's the Calvary Christian softball team 'making some noise'

Class 3A

Admiral Farragut pitcher Bre Benefield (25) delivers a pitch at the top of the first inning during the Class 3A state softball semifinal last year. (ANDRES LEIVA | Special to the Times)

SW Florida Christian (12-6) at Admiral Farragut (16-10), 4

Since starting the season 7-9, the defending 3A state champion Blue Jackets have turned things around, winning nine of their past 10. And they keep getting better. Last week, Admiral Farragut beat Indian Rocks Christian and Bradenton Christian in the 3A, District 5 tournament by a combined 18-5. Krystina Hartley (.451 average), Katya Fe (.448) and Alexis Hernandez (.409) are the top hitters. Bre Benefield has been stellar in the circle and has a 1.77 ERA. Southwest Florida Christian is in the playoffs for the second time in the past three seasons. The Blue Jackets beat them 12-1 in the 2017 semifinals.

Related: RELATED: Growing pains soothed for Admiral Farragut softball

Cambridge Christian (14-9) at Cornerstone Charter Academy (16-9), 7

The Lancers advanced to the playoffs for the first time in three years by knocking off Bishop McLaughlin in the 3A, District 4 semifinals. To win its first postseason game since 2008, Cambridge Christian will have to beat defending state finalist Cornerstone Charter Academy on the road. That is a big challenge for a young team that has just one senior and five freshmen. But the Lancers have steadily improved, winning five of their past seven games. Olivia Elliott, a freshman, is hitting .736 with seven homers and 40 RBIs.

Windermere Prep (13-5) at Seffner Christian (18-8), 3:30

The Crusaders are having one of their best seasons in years and are in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. They also have a good shot at winning a postseason game for the first time in nine years. Their opponent, Windermere Prep, is making its playoff debut. After starting 10-2, the Lakers went 3-3 down the stretch. Seffner Christian, meanwhile, snapped a two-game losing streak by winning its last three. Megan Carney leads the Crusaders in hitting with a .455 average. The junior also is the team’s top pitcher with a 2.84 ERA and 137 strikeouts.

Class 2A

Academy of the Lakes' Jessica Mott swings a mean bat. Keep an eye on her during the postseason. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)

Sarasota Christian (7-4) at Academy at the Lakes (14-7), 6

The defending state champion Wildcats appear poised to win another title. The Wildcats have won four of the past five games, the lone loss in that span coming against the nation’s No. 1 team, Lakewood Ranch. AATL’s recent run has a lot to do with the return of pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl to the circle. The Alabama-bound ace did not throw for a month while she was nursing a strained muscle in her shoulder. Now fully recovered, Kilfoyl has been dominant with 15 straight scoreless innings. The offense gives her plenty of support, too. The Wildcats have reached double digits in runs in 12 games this season. Besides Kilfoyl (.585 average, 11 homers), the team’s other top hitters are Hannah Church (.484) and Jessica Mott (.414).

Related: RELATED: Academy at the Lakes shuts out Canterbury for title

Canterbury (18-7) at Seacrest Country Day (18-4), 4

The Crusaders, who have won four state titles, are in the playoffs for the 14th straight season. This is their second straight appearance as a runnerup after losing in the 2A, District 5 final to rival Academy at the Lakes. Canterbury was on a six-game win streak before that loss. The Crusaders could end up meeting the Wildcats in the region final for a sixth straight season. First, Canterbury has to get past Seacrest Country Day, which won a district title after making the playoffs the previous two seasons a runnerup. Jocelyn Alonso is hitting .544 with 20 RBIs for the Crusaders. Mackenzie Bergstrom has a 2.87 ERA with 89 strikeouts.

Related: RELATED: The top coaches in Tampa Bay history