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HomeLocal & StateCitrus Crushes Springstead Softball

Citrus Crushes Springstead Softball

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When the Citrus Hurricanes (16-7) faced off against the Springstead Eagles (14-6) to open the season, the talented squads took the game into extra innings. That would not be the case when Head Coach Larry Bishop and the Hurricanes traveled to take on the Red, White, and Blue on Thursday night. The rematch began much like the first, but an explosive fifth frame would lead to a 15-5 domination of the Eagles.

 

 

“We know they are a good ball club,” said Coach Bishop. “They are well-coached. They are talented. We knew they were going to hit the ball and play solid defense. So, going into next week, we just wanted to hit the bat on the ball, be smart on defense, and run the bases well. I thought we did that tonight.”

 

Early in the matchup, the Eagles led by a thin 1-0 margin, but that began to change in the top of the third inning. With the Hurricanes on offense and one out on the board, Sophomore Braylen Borneman stepped up to the plate and smacked the ball down the base line. It would go out of bounds just after third base to give the visitors a quick double.

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Braylen Borneman of Citrus makes it to 3rd base and looking to run home. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Braylen Borneman of Citrus makes it to 3rd base and looking to run home. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]

That led to Citrus rattling off three straight hits and three runs in the frame, and the Hurricanes’ coach felt the double gave them momentum. “I think what really got us started was in the [third] inning, our number eight, right fielder Braylen Borneman, she hit a double down the line and […] we got a couple hits back-to-back-to-back after that,” Coach Bishop said. “We scored some runs and that was good to see this time of year.”

 

Citrus Senior Riley Tirrell got her team on the board first when her bouncing single ran Borneman home. Williamson and Tirrell made it across the plate as well to give them the 3-1 edge, but Springstead would push back. In the bottom of the next inning, the Eagles responded with a seemingly huge triple from Senior Gabby McEnerney. Senior Sarah Tipton and Sophomore Victoria Oetega would sprint home, but Oetega nearly did not make it. Despite the close call being made in their favor, that would be one of the last positive plays to happen for the home team that evening.

 

Then, the fifth inning rolled around, and the floodgates opened. Junior Paisley Williamson broke the tie when a bouncing single allowed her to advance across home plate again. This one play was indicative of much of the night. Williamson and Tirrell led all scorers with 3 runs while the junior added a team-high 3 stolen bases, and the senior contributed a pair of RBIs. The ball bouncing just beyond the reach of a Springstead player’s glove was also how it often played out for the home team on Thursday.

 

The Hurricanes logged a total of 9 runs on 7 of 10 plays during a stretch in the fifth frame. Seven different Citrus players would make it across home plate in this inning alone. After the visitors led 12-3, the teams traded largely inconsequential scores other than the fact that the timing of the points helped the Eagles to avoid a dreaded run ruling.

 

“I felt pretty good coming into the game but, for whatever reason, I do not know if it was playing three games in three nights, but we just did not play very well,” said Coach Swartout. “Defensively, I was very disappointed […] They just kept the pressure on us, and we just uncharacteristically did not play very well.”

 

The Hurricanes’ head coach was curious how his squad would perform coming into the season considering they had only lost one to graduation from last season’s 19-win club. He was pleased to see that his players had picked up where they left off and were already in “kind of mid-season form” right off the bat. Despite some hiccups, they got back on track and are currently enjoying a six-game winning streak.

 

Coach Bishop preaches, “take care of the things that you can control,” and he is proud that his girls have largely been able to accomplish that this year. With the postseason on the horizon next week, Coach Swartout will be looking for his players to get healthier with a couple extra days off as his squad is a little banged up. He does not want his team to forget this loss, but he trusts they will be “just fine” heading into the playoffs.

 

Baylie Goodwin of Citrus looks for the pop up. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Baylie Goodwin of Citrus looks for the pop up. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Sarah Tipton of Springstead makes base hit. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Sarah Tipton of Springstead makes base hit. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Liberty Savarese of Springstead tags Makayla Hetman of Citrus at 2nd base. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Liberty Savarese of Springstead tags Makayla Hetman of Citrus at 2nd base. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Springstead's pitcher Ava Miller takes the mound against Citrus. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Springstead’s pitcher Ava Miller takes the mound against Citrus. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Makaila Anderson of Citrus slides into 2nd base. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Makaila Anderson of Citrus slides into 2nd base. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Makayla Hetman of Citrus scores base hit. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Makayla Hetman of Citrus scores base hit. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Citrus' pitcher Kaylin Smith pitches 15-5 win against Springstead. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Citrus’ pitcher Kaylin Smith pitches 15-5 win against Springstead. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Springstead's Alexis Adelman at bat at Thursday's game against Citrus. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]
Springstead’s Alexis Adelman at bat at Thursday’s game against Citrus. [Photo by Cynthia Leota]

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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