The Springstead Eagles Varsity Softball team (5-8) downed the Weeki Wachee Hornets (3-11) by a commanding 6-1 margin at home on Tuesday night. Both squads had rough starts to begin their 2023 campaigns, but this matchup would afford the cross-county combatants an opportunity to gain momentum heading into the final stretch of their schedule. Coach Craig Swartout was pleased with his squad’s performance at the Eagles’ Nest and offered a reason for Springstead’s victory and improvement moving forward.
“We put the bat on the ball,” Coach Swartout said. The Red, White, and Blue’s bats getting hot is a simple but effective reason for the home team’s strong showing on Tuesday. However, the Springstead coach also mentioned how they are working to get over an injury that has slowed them down and looks forward to how the team progresses with districts approaching.
The game started out as a low-scoring affair for both sides. However, the bats would heat up as the game wore on until a four-run explosion in the fourth.
As the visitors, Weeki Wachee got the action started. At the top of the initial inning, Junior Taylor Laviano stepped up to the plate and hit a pop fly off a pitch from sophomore Ava Miller. Freshman Anna Taylor was thrown out at first after a bunt, and the next two batters were struck out back to back to bring out the Hornets’ defense. With the home team on offense for the first time, the first two batters were walked before the next three at-bats resulted in a trio of outs that brought on the second inning. Much like before, a pair of Hornets were thrown out at first base while another was struck out by Miller.
At the bottom of the second, the bats began to wake up. The Eagles’ pitcher was first up to the plate and hit a single to the outfield before a wild pitch would allow her to steal second on the next at-bat. She would finally be run home on a Kendal Wistling single that Weeki Wachee outfielders were unable to corral.
The top of the third frame saw the Green and Black’s batters quickly retired yet again. This made way for another run by Springstead as junior third baseman Sarah Torres stole bases on two occasions – one of them being home plate. Head Coach Charlene Ross’ Hornets would manage to make things interesting for an inning, though, when freshman Abigail Pyle was run home by fellow freshman Hailey Tarner in the top of the fourth frame.
Then Coach Swartout’s squad took that momentary uncertainty and turned that into control the next time they were on offense. With juniors Sarah Tipton and Alexis Adelman on base, Torres sent both of them home with a double deep to the outfield to reignite the scoring. Tipton, who is the team leader in batting average at .444, proved her coach’s point of getting bats on the ball as the junior managed to get on base on three out of four attempts (two hits, one walk). The home team would score another pair of runs three batters later when a pop fly double by Miller ran Torres and freshman catcher Rachel Rivera home. This score would bring the game to its final score of 6-1 as the final three innings passed without incident.
Weeki Wachee will try to establish some momentum heading into the back half of their schedule when they face the Citrus Hurricanes (10-4) at home on Thursday. Now on a three-game winning streak, Coach Swartout’s Eagles will hope to continue getting bats on the ball against the Hernando Leopards (13-4). Springstead will travel to play their intra-county foe at seven on Thursday.