NEW PORT RICHEY — The quest for two state championships in a row started Thursday night for Academy at the Lakes, as the Wildcats faced Sarasota Christian in a Class 2A region semifinal.
If Thursday’s performance says anything, the Wildcats’ bats are primed and ready. Academy at the Lakes took advantage of a seven-run fourth inning en route to cruising by Sarasota Christian 12-0 in five innings.
“It was really good for us to have an inning like that,” Academy at the Lakes pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl said. “It was really good early on as well to get the couple runs. It’s nice to pitch when you have that cushion early on.”
After initially taking a 2-0 lead after one inning, the Wildcats (15-7) continued to tack on runs leading up into that huge fourth. Academy at the Lakes had only the second inning in which they didn’t score, but they touched the Blazers up for three runs in the third, highlighted by junior Jessica Mott’s two-run homer.
In the fourth, Kilfoyl had a double to rightfield that helped fuel the barrage of runs. The Wildcats’ ace kept the Blazers at bay and Sarasota Christian never seriously threatened to score the entire game.
It becomes a waiting game for Academy at the Lakes now, as Canterbury’s region quarterfinal against Seacrest Country Day got postponed until Friday evening. The Wildcats could be in for a rematch Tuesday against the Crusaders, whom they defeated in the Class 2A, District 5 championship. The Crusaders did defeat the Wildcats 8-7 during the regular season.
“Oh, we definitely would like to face Canterbury again,” Kilfoyl said. “All the parents and fans love it when we play Canterbury and whenever we beat them. It’s a good game whenever we face them.”