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HomeSportsSoftballSpringstead Softball Defeats Nature Coast in a Nail-Biter

Springstead Softball Defeats Nature Coast in a Nail-Biter

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SPRING HILL- Whenever Springstead and Nature Coast meet up in anything sports-related, you know you’re going to be in for a good one.

On Tuesday night at Springstead High School, the latest edition of the Eagles-Sharks rivalry came down to the wire, with the former being able to notch their first win in the softball series since April 2022.

Springstead freshman pitcher Alivia Miller fanned eight batters and along with catcher Rachel Rivera, helped lead the Eagles to a narrow 7-5 victory over Nature Coast. The Eagles improved to 5-1 on the season, while the Sharks dropped to 6-4.

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“We got down early and (Nature Coast) is a tough team to play because they’ve got a lot of speed,” Springstead head coach Craig Swartout said about the big win. “We knew we were going to have to be crisp. Once they tied the game up, the most important thing was we didn’t stop. We didn’t quit.”

Third innings have been particularly friendly to Springstead this season, with Swartout saying for whatever reason, that’s when the Eagles’ bats come alive. They showed up right on time against Nature Coast, tagging three runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Facing Sharks’ freshman pitcher Kamryn Ross, the Eagles were able to tie the game up at 1-1 when Miller drove in Rivera. Springstead then took the lead at 2-1 when senior Sarah Tipton plated Miller. Adding another run in the inning and armed with a 3-1 lead, Swartout’s bunch was in great position.

“For whatever reason, the third inning seems to be our inning,” Swartout added. “We were able to get the lineup turned over, so that was big. I’m very proud of the resiliency we had.”

Trailing 5-1, Nature Coast (6-4) wouldn’t go down quietly against Springstead, beginning to mount a comeback in the sixth inning. Up against Miller, one of the top freshman pitchers in the area, the Sharks were able to score three runs in the top of the sixth, highlighted by
Haley Keane and Carlee Anselmo scoring on an error.

Tied at 5-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Eagles made one final push to go ahead and win the contest.

It would be Rivera crossing the plate again, this time on a sacrifice bunt by senior Alexis Adelman, to take a 6-5 lead. The Eagles added one more and that would be plenty enough for Miller to hold on for the victory.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @Andy_Villamarzo

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