Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. HomeTeam

Canterbury nabs fifth state softball title in 10 years

Jody Moore’s latest group of champions is definitely the youngest lineup she’s won with.
Canterbury starts the celebration moments after the Crusaders sealed up a 3-1 Class 2A state final victory over Jacksonville University Christian on Wednesday night. It was the fifth state title for Canterbury and coach Jody Moore, all won in the past 10 years.
Canterbury starts the celebration moments after the Crusaders sealed up a 3-1 Class 2A state final victory over Jacksonville University Christian on Wednesday night. It was the fifth state title for Canterbury and coach Jody Moore, all won in the past 10 years. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]
Published May 20
Updated May 20

CLERMONT — Records aren’t kept for such things, but it’s possible that on Wednesday night Canterbury may have produced the youngest softball team to ever win a state title.

For the record, Canterbury started one junior, three sophomores, three freshmen and two eighth-graders in their 3-1 victory over Jacksonville University Christian at Legends Way Ballfield in Clermont.

Then the youngsters cheered like crazy around their coach, Jody Moore, who held high the Class 2A state championship trophy — the fifth state title for Moore and Canterbury since 2011.

“Is this the youngest team I’ve had to win a state title?” Moore playfully asked, grinning and donning the 2017 state title ring, which was the last she won. “Oh yeah. No doubt about that.”

Canterbury softball coach Jody Moore holds up the Class 2A state title trophy Wednesday night.
Canterbury softball coach Jody Moore holds up the Class 2A state title trophy Wednesday night. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]

These Crusaders, however, were no less confident than any of the previous Canterbury state champs.

Did they get worried, for instance, after falling behind 1-0 in the top of the second inning?

“We always felt confident that we would come back because we feel so prepared,” said sophomore Maya Bickford, who scored the go-ahead run in the second inning after sprinting home on a passed ball. “We knew we could do it.”

As has been the case with all of Moore’s past teams, Canterbury (23-9) took advantage of almost every opportunity, which were hard to come by against University Christian (18-3) and pitcher Sophia Kardatzke, who Moore said was one the best the Crusaders faced in an extremely challenging schedule.

The Canterbury infield celebrates a strikeout during the Class 2A final in Clermont.
The Canterbury infield celebrates a strikeout during the Class 2A final in Clermont. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]

In the bottom of the second, in fact, Canterbury did not collect a hit, but scored its two runs on a walk, an error, a fielder’s choice, a hit batsman, a stolen base, a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball.

“I have to give credit to my hitters,” Moore said. “They hung in there and kept trying to find ways to get to a very tough pitcher (but still only collected three total hits).”

Pn the Crusaders’ mound, junior starter Mackenzie Bergstrom was nearly lights out, throwing 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit while striking out eight. Eighth-grader Morgen Talley came in to finish the game.

Using two pitchers was also part of Moore’s master plan, which has been the case on numerous occasions since she started coaching Canterbury in 2008.

Canterbury starter Mackenzie Bergstrom fires a pitch. Bergstrom went 5.2 innings, allowing one run and one hit while striking out five.
Canterbury starter Mackenzie Bergstrom fires a pitch. Bergstrom went 5.2 innings, allowing one run and one hit while striking out five. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]

“If I have two pitchers I like to throw both to give the other team something different to look at,” Moore said. “It’s nice to have two great pitchers.”

Overall, Moore said she was most happy that the girls could see the benefit of all their hard work.

“It’s great to know that everything I put in for these girls paid off because now they can see the result,” Moore said. “We work extremely hard. Our practices are very tough. It’s great to see these girls live this experience and feel what this feels like. It’s such a great feeling.”

State softball

Legends Way Ball Fields, Clermont

SCORES

Class 2A final: Canterbury 3, Jacksonville University Christian 1

Class 3A semifinal: Holy Names 11, Miami Westminster Christian 4

FINAL

Class 3A: Holy Names vs. Windermere Prep, 7 p.m. Thursday

SEMIFINALS

Class 4A: Hernando vs. Plantation American Heritage, noon Thursday

Class 5A: Land O’ Lakes vs. Pace, 2 p.m. Thursday

Class 6A: Mitchell vs. Doral Academy, 11:15 a.m. Friday