Orlando area advances 14 teams to FHSAA softball regional semifinals

·7 min read

Dominant pitching performances and big swings at the plate helped propel Orlando area teams into Tuesday’s Florida High School Athletic Association softball regional semifinal round.

Lake Brantley (22-3) hosts rival Lake Mary (13-13) and Cornerstone Charter (20-8-1) is home vs. Foundation Academy (12-9) in matchups between area programs.

The Patriots, No. 1 overall in FHSAA power ratings, have won 11 of 13 against Lake Mary since 2017. Lauren Compton, Gabriella Mike and Bristin Bordeau combined to strike out 15 Friday as Lake Brantley won 5-0 vs. Winter Park (12-14) in a Class 7A Region 1 quarterfinal.

Cornerstone scored a 3-1 win over defending 2A state champion The First Academy (11-13) as Addison Jackson struck out 8 and gave up 2 hits in four innings, and went 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI.

Foundation needed two days to prevail 5-3 over region finalist Mount Dora Christian (18-9) as that game was interrupted Thursday by inclement weather and concluded Friday. Sophomores Elizabeth Ozim and Kamryn Arico each hit solo home runs for the Lions.

The Ducks have made easy work of Foundation in all 13 meetings since those programs first played in 2014.

No. 1 seed Orlando Christian Prep (17-1) carries an 11-game win streak into its home game vs. Academy at the Lakes (17-7) in the other 2A-2 semifinal. Grace Thomas and Mia Rosario combined for 10 strikeouts while Genesis Iglesias-Rosa and eighth-grader Sabrina Boyer each homered in a 7-2 win against Melbourne Central Catholic (12-8).

Other area teams at home Tuesday include regional 2-seeds Windermere High (7A), Hagerty (6A), Deltona (5A), Eustis (4A) and Montverde Academy (3A).

A district semifinal loss sent Hagerty (18-7) on the road in the quarterfinals where it got a big outing in the circle by Ella Verne during a 2-0 win at Orange Park Oakleaf (10-12). The sophomore, one of three primary pitchers on the team, struck out 11 and yielded only 1 hit and 1 walk.

“We just felt like Ella was a good matchup. She spins the ball great, and there’s not a whole lot that teams have seen of her,” Hagerty coach David Stone said. “She started eating up innings, and then all of a sudden it was the fifth and she was throwing a gem, so we let her ride it out.”

Senior pitchers Katie McCaw of Deltona and Libby Levendoski of Eustis were predictably just as effective.

McCaw struck out 15 despite allowing seven baserunners and 1 earned run for the Wolves (19-4) during a 4-2 win against Lake City Columbia (16-9). Veronica Puckett went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI for Deltona, which moved up in classification after winning the 4A state title in 2022.

Levendoski, the 2021 Orlando Sentinel Varsity player of the year, struck out 7 and gave up 3 hits in four innings as the Panthers (19-5) rolled to a 12-2 win against Rockledge (13-10). Junior Taylor Goff went 4-for-4 with a home run and 5 RBI.

Windermere (23-3), which ranks No. 10 in the state with only one loss (1-0 vs. Hagerty) over its past 23 games, won 7-1 over Clermont East Ridge (16-10) in a 7A-2 quarterfinal. Cami Pini went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.

In 3A-2, sophomore Danika Spinogatti went 4-for-4 with 2 triples, a double and 4 RBI as Montverde Academy (21-6) won 8-4 against Titusville Astronaut (15-10). Lexi Perez and Leila Susaia each had 2 hits.

Boone (7A), Oviedo (6A), Groveland South Lake (6A) and Bishop Moore (4A) go on the road for regional semifinals.

The Braves walked-off with a 3-2 win Friday against Palm Beach Gardens (10-13). Three freshman players recorded 2 hits for Boone (17-5), as did senior Emily Severson, who doubled and drove in a run. Giorgiana Woods struck out 9 and allowed no earned runs.

Oviedo (15-10) held off Winter Springs (13-13) for a 4-3 win in Region 1 while South Lake (11-15), the 5A state runner-up last year, won 6-1 vs. Lakeland George Jenkins (12-15) in Region 3.

Destiny Johns went 2-for-4 with 2 triples and 2 RBI and Alanna O’Brien finished with 9 strikeouts while issuing 6 hits, 1 walk and no earned runs for South Lake.

Bishop Moore senior Olivia Miller struck out 13 and gave up only 3 hits while also going 2-for-3 at the plate during a 4-1 against Melbourne Eau Gallie (19-8). Megan La Morte finished 2-for-3 with a home run, double and 3 RBI for the Hornets (22-3).

Softball semifinal winners advance to regional championship games Friday. The FHSAA state tournament is scheduled for May 22-27 in Clermont.

Quarterfinal Results

7A-1: No. 1 Lake Brantley 5, No. 8 Winter Park 0; No. 4 Lake Mary 9, No. 5 Flagler Palm Coast 3; No. 2 Port Orange Spruce Creek 3, No. 7 Apopka 1; No. 6 Ocala West Port 8, No. 3 St. Johns Creekside 2.

7A-2: No. 2 Windermere High 7, No. 7 Clermont East Ridge 1; No. 3 Sarasota 10, No. 6 West Orange 4.

7A-3: No. 1 Wellington 11, No. 8 Palm Beach Central 1; No. 4 Port St. Lucie Centennial 2, No. 5 St. Cloud 0; No. 2 Jupiter 12, No. 7 Harmony 4; No. 3 Boone 3, No. 6 Palm Beach Gardens 2.

6A-1: No. 1 Pace 11, No. 8 Niceville 0; No. 4 Oviedo 4, No. 5 Winter Springs 3; No. 2 Hagerty 2, No. 7 Orange Park Oakleaf 0; No. 6 Navarre 9, No. 3 Lake Howell 1.

6A-3: No. 1 Bartow 10, No. 8 Lake Minneola 0; No. 4 Groveland South Lake 6, No. 5 Lakeland George Jenkins 2.

5A-1: No. 2 Deltona 4, No. 7 Lake City Columbia 2; No. 3 Fort Walton Beach 5, No. 6 Middleburg 4.

5A-2: No. 4 Seminole Osceola 6, No. 5 Horizon 2.

4A-2: No. 1 Eagle Lake Lake Region 9, No. 8 Inverness Citrus 2; No. 4 Bishop Moore 4, No. 5 Melbourne Eau Gallie 1; No. 2 Eustis 12, No. 7 Rockledge 2 (5 inn); No. 3 Lake Wales 6, No. 6 Ocala Vanguard 1.

3A-2: No. 2 Montverde Academy 8, No. 7 Titusville Astronaut 4; No. 3 South Sumter 1, No. 6 The Villages 0.

2A-2: No. 1 Orlando Christian Prep 7, No. 8 Melbourne Central Catholic 2; No. 5 Academy at the Lakes 9, No. 4 Geneva School 8; No. 2 Cornerstone Charter 3, No. 7 The First Academy 1; No. 6 Foundation Academy 5, No. 3 Mount Dora Christian 3.

Regional Semifinals

Tuesday

7A Region 1

No. 4 Lake Mary (13-13) at No. 1 Lake Brantley (22-3)

No. 6 Ocala West Port (17-10) at No. 2 Port Orange Spruce Creek (14-6)

7A Region 2

No. 4 Lutz Steinbrenner (19-7-1) at No. 1 Tampa Plant (24-4)

No. 3 Sarasota (21-4) at No. 2 Windermere High (23-3)

7A Region 3

No. 4 Port St. Lucie Centennial (15-7) at No. 1 Wellington (18-2-1)

No. 3 Boone (17-5) at No. 2 Jupiter (18-5)

6A Region 1

No. 4 Oviedo (15-10) at No. 1 Pace (25-1)

No. 6 Navarre (15-12) at No. 2 Hagerty (18-7)

6A Region 3

No. 4 Groveland South Lake (11-15) at No. 1 Bartow (25-3)

No. 3 Viera (18-5) at No. 2 Melbourne (21-4)

5A Region 1

No. 8 Green Cove Springs Clay (13-10) at No. 4 Orange Park Ridgeview (18-6)

No. 3 Fort Walton Beach (18-7) at No. 2 Deltona (18-4)

4A Region 2

No. 4 Bishop Moore (22-3) at No. 1 Eagle Lake Lake Region (23-5)

No. 3 Lake Wales (17-11) at No. 2 Eustis (19-5)

3A Region 2

No. 5 Alachua Santa Fe (16-9) at No. 1 Brooksville Hernando (22-4)

No. 3 South Sumter (16-10) at No. 2 Montverde Academy (21-6)

2A Region 2

No. 5 Academy at the Lakes (17-7) at No. 1 Orlando Christian Prep (17-1)

No. 6 Foundation Academy (12-9) at No. 2 Cornerstone Charter (20-8-1)

This article originally appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email J.C. Carnahan at jcarnahan@orlandosentinel.com.