Sports notebook: Springstead softball lives up to top seed

Photography Alice Mary Herden

Having lost only one game all regular season, and gone 10-0 in district play, it came as no shock that Springstead’s softball team won the Class 6A, District 6 Tournament as the top seed on its home field this week.
But the Lady Eagles are trying not to take anything for granted as they embark on a promising postseason run, so they appreciated Thursday’s 3-0 victory over Crystal River in the district title tilt.
“That was one of our goals when the season started,” Springstead head coach Craig Swartout said. “We’re pleased with the way the season has gone so far. We played pretty well in the tournament, so I’m happy about that.
“We’re playing as good now as we have all season. Everything is starting to click. With younger kids it takes a little longer to get the rhythm of things. But I think everybody has found their niche and is ready to go.”
In the championship match-up with the surprising Lady Pirates (10-17), seeded sixth in the six-team tournament, the Lady Eagles (25-1) received major production from the middle the order.
Catcher Paige Pfent, who went 4-for-4 in Tuesday’s semifinal win over Lecanto, went 3-for-4 with a run scored in this one out of the third spot. Cleanup hitter Kayla Cruz added a 2-for-4 night, driving in two runs, while two-hole hitter Abby Oliver went 1-for-3 with a walk and scored twice.
On the mound, Kama Woodall tossed a complete game allowing three hits and striking out six over seven innings.
Springstead will host Citra-North Marion in a regional quarterfinal Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“Offensively, we’re in a pretty good spot,” Swartout said. “Defensively, we played probably a couple of the best games we played so far this season. I think that bodes well for the future.
“We’re going to go in there (to regionals) confident and go in with the expectation that if we play well we’ll win. If you go into the state tournament any other way you’re doing yourself a disservice. We’re in a good spot mentally, physically. We’ll go out and play as well as we can, and if we’re good enough we’ll keep moving on.”
Weeki Wachee (8-18) additionally participated in the 6A-6 Tournament and went down to Lecanto on Monday, 9-0.Nature Coast's Brittany Rodriguez slides into second base as Gulf's Amanda Crisafulli looks to throw to first during Thursday's 5A-7 final at Tom Varn Park. Photo by Alice Mary Herden
Nature Coast (23-4) will host Orlando-Lake Highland Prep in a regional quarterfinal also on Wednesday at 7 p.m., after winning the 5A-7 crown with a 6-1 triumph over Gulf on Thursday at Tom Varn Park.
Earlier in the tournament, Hernando (15-11) beat Fivay on Tuesday, 16-1, then fell to the Lady Sharks on Wednesday, 3-2. Central (6-24) dropped its opener against Hudson on Tuesday, 10-6.
In the 2A-5 Tournament, Hernando Christian Academy (8-12) notched a 10-8 win over host St. Petersburg-Keswick Christian on Monday, but lost to St. Petersburg-Canterbury on Tuesday, 15-0.
On Monday, Hernando’s girls tennis team participated in the 2A FHSAA Finals at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry and lost their first match against Lake Highland Prep, 4-0. Grace Curren lost at No. 1 singles to Kaylan Rotman, 6-0, 6-0, and Karli Kimbrough had to withdraw at No. 5 due to injury.
In doubles, Curren and Maddie Pickersgill fell at No. 1 to Rotman and Jenna Garrity, 6-2, 6-0, and Madison Munez and Kimbrough lost at No. 2 versus Demme Kraut and Serena Sha, 6-3, 6-0. The Lady Leopards finished the year 14-1 overall.
Over at Sylvan Lake Park in Sanford, Central’s Vanessa Valencia was knocked out in the first round by Tatia Ghviniashvili from Naples-Lely, 6-1, 7-5.
The boys weightlifting FHSAA Finals took place this week at the Kissimmee Civic Center, with lifters from Central and Hernando competing in 1A on Friday. The Leopards’ Abel Terkovich had the highest-placing, coming in 10th at 199 pounds with a 315-pound bench and 280 clean-and-jerk for a 595 total.
Also for the Leopards, Austin Sternberger placed 14th at 183 (285-250—535). Central’s Ben Cooper finished 14th at 119 (190-120—310) and Trevon Lincoln came in 17th at heavyweight (360-250—610).
At Saturday’s 2A meet, Springstead senior Nicholas D’Amico finished 14th at 169 (295-240—535).
Springstead’s track and field team partook in the 3A-District 7 Meet at Mitchell on Thursday, where the top four finishers in each event advanced to regionals. Demetrius Barry won the 200-meter in 24.07, followed by Diemonte Williams in second at 24.34. Kyle Manuel placed first in the discus behind a toss of 139-7.
Additionally, Jordan Wright took second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.79, Allen Keister crossed the finish line third in the 3,200 in 10:24.97 and Randy Morgan added a third in the long jump (19-7 1/2). Barry, Morgan, Marquis Walker and Williams clocked a 45.22 for second in the 4x100.
On the girls side, Jacy Scharlow posted a second-place 5-2 in the high jump, Alyssa Menendez came in third in the 100 (13.27) and Joy Jackson finished fourth in the 800 (2:31.56). Madison Dileo, Jackson, Menendez and Isabel Somavilla ran a second-place 10:37.33 in the 4x800. Tia Crawford, Ashtereya Marchan, Menendez and Dai’jeah Thompson combined for a fourth-place 53.84 in the 4x100.
In the final week of regular-season baseball, Springstead (18-6) collected wins over Nature Coast on Tuesday, 3-2, and Central on Thursday, 10-6. The Sharks (18-4) had defeated Pasco on Monday, 14-1.Springstead head coach Shawn Laferty, left, shakes hands with Nature Coast head coach Frank Vitale during Tuesday night's game. Photo by Alice Mary Herden
Hernando (15-10) finished up with a Monday victory over Lecanto, 4-1, and Wednesday loss to South Sumter, 8-1. The Bears (13-12) won on Tuesday against Weeki Wachee, 6-5, and fell to Bishop McLaughlin Catholic on Wednesday, 4-0.
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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