Mount Dora Christian softball season ends at state tournament in final game for head coach

Mount Dora Christian softball season ends at state tournament in final game for head coach
·3 min read

Mount Dora Christian Academy’s softball team has been a fixture at FHSAA state tournaments in recent years under head coach Josh Swearingen.

Swearingen, 44, coached the Bulldogs (20-9) for the final time Tuesday during an 8-3 loss to Jacksonville University Christian (18-2) in a Class 2A state semifinal at Legends Way Ball Fields in Clermont.

University Christian, tied as the No. 2 team in MaxPreps’ 2A rankings, jumped out to an 8-0 lead before MDCA scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Bulldogs entered the game ranked No. 4 in 2A.

Swearingen stated in an official FHSAA information form this week that he will return with his family to Jacksonville after the season, where he attended Ed White High School and the University of North Florida. He coached at Ed White from 2006-15 and owns a 264-164 career record over 16 seasons.

Swearingen dedicated his final season at Mount Dora Christian to his dad, who died from COVID-19 complications on Nov. 21.

MDCA went 118-40 in six seasons under Swearingen with four trips to the state tournament. The Bulldogs lost in the semifinal round in 2016 and 2017 and finished state runners-up in 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to the pandemic.

The Bulldogs entered Tuesday’s state semifinal with just two seniors in the starting lineup. Pitcher Leah Marshall was batting .495 with 41 RBI, 13 doubles and 7 home runs at the plate and had amassed a 13-4 record and 104 strikeouts in the circle. Catcher Hailie Amrhein ranked fourth on the team in batting average (.329) with 24 RBI, 7 doubles and 5 home runs.

On Wednesday, Windermere Prep (24-1) plays Jacksonville Episcopal School (23-5) in a Class 3A semifinal at 12 noon. The Lakers rank No. 7 in 3A according to MaxPreps. Episcopal ranks No. 2 behind Tampa Holy Names (17-5), who faces No. 3 Miami Westminster Christian (23-6) in the other semifinal.

Sophomore Mia Williams is batting .570 with 38 runs scored, 27 RBI and 21 extra-base hits for Windermere. Junior Gracie Wallace carries a 0.45 earned runs average with 306 strikeouts in 154 innings pitched.

Admission to FHSAA state softball games is $9 per day in advance and $12 if purchased on the day of event. Parking is $10. Tickets are available exclusively online via the GoFan app. The NHFS Network is streaming all games for a fee.

Softball state tournament

Tuesday results

Class 1A semifinals

Jay d. Wewahitchka, 7-2

Trenton d. Branford, 3-2

Class 2A semifinals

Jacksonville University Christian d. Mount Dora Christian, 8-3

St Petersburg Canterbury vs. Fort Lauderdale Westminster, 7

Wednesday schedule

Class 3A semifinals

Windermere Prep vs. Jacksonville Episcopal, Noon

Tampa Holy Names vs. Miami Westminster, 2

Class 1 final

Trenton vs. Jay, 4:30

Class 2A final

Jacksonville University Christian vs. St Petersburg Canterbury/Fort Lauderdale Westminster, 7:30

This article originally appeared on Email J.C. Carnahan at