PREP ROUNDUP: Lee pitches Palmetto High past Braden River High

Palmetto High's Emily Borresen knocks in two runs with a hit in the sixth inning against Braden River High at the Pirates softball field. The Tigers won the game, 7-1.
Palmetto High's Emily Borresen knocks in two runs with a hit in the sixth inning against Braden River High at the Pirates softball field. The Tigers won the game, 7-1.

BRADENTON — Makenna Lee is a pitcher. That is the way she is listed on the roster.

However, she also hits in the lineup. Still, any contribution she makes with her bat is a bonus for the Palmetto High softball team.

Lee pitched a complete game and put a cherry on her evening with a solo home run, as the Tigers downed Braden River High, 7-1, Wednesday at the Pirates field.

A freshman, Lee said she is more proud of her pitching. But it also feels good when she connects like she did in the fourth inning.

First-pitch swinging, Lee drove a fastball over the left-center field fence to up the Tigers’ advantage to 4-1.

“Yeah, I felt that one,” said Lee on her second home run of the season. “If I see the first one, I just swing at it.”

Palmetto High's Makenna Lee makes a pitch against Braden River High Wednesday night at the Pirates' softball field in Manatee County.
Palmetto High's Makenna Lee makes a pitch against Braden River High Wednesday night at the Pirates' softball field in Manatee County.

That falls into what Palmetto coach Andrew Emery preaches to his team.

“Us working hard on recognizing pitches and necessarily giving the umpire a chance to make a call,” Emery said. “Even if it is a little off the black, find a way to drive a pitch that’s hitable.”

In the circle, Lee gave up four hits and an unearned run in the second inning. With her curveball and changeup working well, Lee struck out seven, walked one and hit one.

“We hit the ball well, just right at people,” Braden River coach Melissa Dowling said. “We put solid barrels on balls. I’m happy with how we performed at the plate tonight.”

Jada Phillips singled, doubled and reached base three times out of the leadoff spot for the Pirates. Amanda Estling doubled and scored the lone Braden River run.

Palmetto got a booming two-run double from Emily Borresen and RBI singles from Desiree Aitken and Riley Anderson, who went 4-for-4 and scored on a wild pitch. Joli McElroy had a hit and scored on an error for the Tigers, who climbed above the .500 mark at 8-7.

“Palmetto adjusted to some of what we were throwing and the ball didn’t bounce our way,” Dowling said.

Braden River (5-10) goes to Wauchula Hardee County at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Braden River's pitcher Lilly Piper pitches against Palmetto who won 7-1 at the Pirates softball field in Manatee County, Wednesday night, March 30, 2022.
Braden River's pitcher Lilly Piper pitches against Palmetto who won 7-1 at the Pirates softball field in Manatee County, Wednesday night, March 30, 2022.

Palmetto takeaways

• Four of the Tigers’ runs were scored with two outs. “We worked a lot over the last couple of weeks on driving the balls in the right position,” Emery said. “I’m happy to see that production come with two outs. It’s been gone for a little bit.”

• Emery is asking his pitchers to work deeper into the game to be ready for the postseason workload, especially someone like Lee who is getting her first taste of high school ball. “We’re trying very hard to make sure we have our pitchers a full seven (innings) because we are going to need that longevity. We’re pushing them to do that,” he said. “She did the job. Strong for a freshman.” “I feel like I can still pitch right now,” Lee said after the game.

• In keeping with the same theme, Emery scheduled a couple of in-season tournaments with the hopes of facing tougher competition and possibly seeing some of the teams Palmetto could face in the regionals. The Tigers went 1-3 in the Bartow Tournament and split four games in the BayMade Fastpitch Tournament. “We specifically went to the BayMade Fastpitch Tournament because there’s chances for us to see Sickles and Land O’Lakes,” Emery said. “We’ve built our schedule in total around seeing those teams because we want to be prepared for the postseason.”

Braden River takeaways

• Pirates freshman starting pitcher Lilly Piper was struck with two batted balls in the second inning. But that was not the reason Dowling replaced her with fellow freshman Meghan Dillingham to begin the fourth inning. “We were going to limit her either way,” Dowling said of Piper. “We’re just looking to see what we’ve got as we make this run into postseason play. Meghan did a great job coming in. She came in and pounded the zone. She got some calls, didn’t get some calls. When that happens you’re forced to bring it over the middle of the plate and solid contact happens.”

• Dowling was 1-for-2 in having the base umpire appeal to the home plate umpire to change a call on the bases. The win was an inning-ending double play in the seventh. “Some go our way; some don’t,” Dowling said. "But that’s softball: a game of inches.”

• Despite a couple of miscues in the field early, some due to the aggressiveness of Palmetto, Dowling has been happy with the Pirates’ defense this season and the ability of her pitchers to limit the damage. “They’re going to take the extra bases when they can. They’re going to bunt when they can. They’re going to manufacture runs,” Dowling said of the Tigers. “That’s a credit to our pitching staff. We put a lot of work into limiting those things. Last year we didn’t. Our defense has been really, really solid the last few weeks and really all season long.”

BASEBALL

Venice 13, Centerville Elks Varsity 2

WHAT: IMG National Classic.

AT: IMG Academy, Bradenton.

TOP PLAYERS: V, John Whitney (1-2, 2R, 2RBI), Cole Schumacher (2-2, 2R, 2RBI), Desavion Cassaway (2-2, 2R, RBI).

PITCHING: V, Huston Wynne (3IP, 2H, 2R, 2BB, 4K).

Out-of-Door 8, Georgetown Prep 1

WHAT: IMG National Classic.

AT: IMG Academy, Bradenton.

TOP PLAYERS: ODA, Luca Marino (3-4, 2B, 3R), Nolan Naese (3-4, RBI, R), Logan Tribble (2-5, 2 RBI).

PITCHING: ODA, Josh Cone (W, 5IP, 0ER, 5 Ks).

Reborn Christian 13,
Lakewood Ranch 1 (5 inns.)

WHAT: IMG National Classic.

AT: IMG Academy, Bradenton.

TOP PLAYERS: LR, Tyler Howald (1-1, run), Austin Parcels (1-1).

IMG Academy 16, Riverview 1 (4 inns.)

WHAT: IMG National Classic.

AT: IMG Academy, Bradenton.

TOP PLAYER: R, Chris Barr (1-2, run).


Cardinal Mooney 16 Manatee 9

AT: Manatee High, Bradenton.

TOP PLAYERS: CM, Will Zerega (4-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI), Landen Jensen (3-5, RBI), Paddy Hebda (4-5, 3B, 3RBI), Luke Labriola (1-2, 2B), Drew Marra (3-4, 3 RBI); M, Jordan (3-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI).

RECORD: Cardinal Mooney (7-6).

NEXT: Tampa Catholic at Cardinal Mooney, 2 p.m. Saturday.

SOFTBALL

Riverview 17, Manatee 6 (6 inns.)

AT: Riverview High, Sarasota.

TOP PLAYERS: R, Zoe Lipton (5-5, HR, 3RBI), Bella Thompson (3-3, 3 2B, 4RBI), Angela Lukowsky (3-4, 2B, 2RBI), Ava Johnston (2-4, 3RBI).

PITCHING: R, Ava Johnston (6IP, 3ER, 6 Ks).

RECORD: Riverview (5-10).

Lemon Bay 12, Ida Baker 0 (5 inns.)

AT: Ida Baker High, Cape Coral.

TOP PLAYERS: LB, Haley Gulsby (3-4, 3B, 5RBI, R), Abby Matheny (2-3, 2R), Kendell Bennett (1-3, 3B, 2R, 3 RBI).

PITCHING: LB, Mackenzie Vaughan (5IP, 5H, 1BB, 5K).

BOYS TENNIS

Venice 6, Lemon Bay 1

AT: Lemon Bay High, Englewood.

SINGLES —– Pranav Mayor (V) def. Hunter Andres 7-6 (7-2), 6-2; Aravind Rajeev (V) def. Billy Rand 6-1, 6-1; Andrej Andelkovic (V) def. Gray Lowder 6-2, 6-2; Simon Ayer (V) def. Caleb Hutcherson 6-4, 6-4; Hayden Guthrie (V) def. Logan McGinty 6-0, 6-2.

DOUBLES – Andres/Rand (LB) def. Mayor/Evan VanBuskirk 8-6; Rajeev/Andelkovic (V) def. Lowder/Hutcherson 8-4.

RECORDS: Venice (12-3); Lemon Bay (11-1).

GIRLS TENNIS

Venice 6, Lemon Bay 1

AT: Lemon Bay High, Englewood.

SINGLES — Nika DeLong (V) def. Jordan Shirley 6-1, 6-0; Adela Piskor (V) def. Marie L’Abbe 6-2, 6-3; Tess Tchorbadjiev (V) def. Rosey Lowder 6-3, 6-4; Leah Woolverton (V) def. Avery Shirley 6-2, 7-5; Kenzie DeLong (V) def. Alaina Maday 6-0, 6-2.

DOUBLES — N. DeLong/Tchorbadjiev (V) def. J. Shirley/L’Abbe 8-1; Lowder/A. Shirley (LB) def. Sophia Teijelo/Giselle Noriega 8-4.

RECORDS: Lemon Bay (11-2); Venice (13-1).

NEXT: North Port at Lemon Bay, 3 p.m. April 7.

Charlotte 6, Port Charlotte 1

SINGLES — Sophia Bender (C) def. Maddie Francis 8-5; Halayna Roberson (C) def. Cassidy Gibbs 8-4; Kendall Carrico (C) def. Maddie Wright 8-0; Summerlin Williams (PC) def. Sophia Clancey 8-1; Kaelyn Carrico (C) def. Nour Jarrah 8-4.

DOUBLES — Bender/Roberson (C) def. Francis/Williams 8-5; Carrico/Clancey (C) def. Gibbs/Dita Carlsen 8-5.

RECORD: Charlotte (6-2).

NEXT: Riverdale at Charlotte on Tuesday.

BOYS LACROSSE

Gulf Coast 7, Venice 3

AT: Venice High.

TOP PLAYERS: V, Jack Clarkson (2 goals), John Piroli (goal).

GOALIE: V, Alex Ptaszek (15 saves).

RECORD: Venice (2-6).

GIRLS LACROSSE

Gulf Coast 16, Venice 12

AT: Gulf Coast High, Naples.

TOP PLAYERS; V, Sophia Santagata (5 goals, 2 assists, 4 draw controls, 4 ground balls, turnover caused), Kaya Bartlett (4 goals, draw control, 3 ground balls, turnover caused), Gabby Daley (goal, 2 ground balls), Gianna Falbo (goal, ground ball), Alessandra James (goal, ground ball), Erin Anderson (goal, ground ball)

NEXT: Lakewood Ranch at Venice, 5:30 p.m., today.

Dennis Maffezzoli is the deputy sports editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and chief reporter for Sarasota Herald-Tribune and HTpreps covering Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Support local journalism by subscribing.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: PREP ROUNDUP: Lee pitches Palmetto High past Braden River High