6A-10 SOFTBALL: Mitchell bats explode late
LAND O' LAKES -
Teams that win by mercy rule typically do so with complete ease, but that was not totally the case Wednesday afternoon at Sunlake High.
Tarpon Springs held a slight upper hand on Mitchell for nearly five innings before the second-seeded Mustangs turned their offensive firepower loose on the Spongers.
Mitchell (19-5) flipped a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead by the end of the fifth and then exploded for an eight-run sixth to end both the game and Tarpon Springs' season. The Spongers entered the Class 6A District 10 tournament playing some of their best softball of the year and were hoping to pull an upset to keep it going.
It was the Mustangs' sixth straight win over Tarpon Springs dating back to 2011 and they now advance into Friday night's 7:00 championship game against rival and top-seeded River Ridge. The Royal Knights moved on by beating Land O' Lakes in Wednesday's second semifinal.
Mitchell third baseman Samantha Renzetti turned in Wednesday's top performance with a redemptive 4-for-4 showing at the plate that resulted in two RBIs and two runs scored. Though Tarpon Springs' lead-grabbing, second-inning run would have scored anyway, Renzetti made an error fielding a sacrifice bunt with no outs.
“That error was my fault but I came back and got those runs for my team. That felt good,” the junior said of atoning for her minor mishap.
Other than that, it was a stellar all-around day for Renzetti, who said she was looking for pitches early in the count from Tarpon Springs pitcher Lindsey White. “Coach [Scott Bisbe] says be aggressive so I was being aggressive and going after the first pitch. If it wasn't there, then I was waiting for it.”
Bisbe said he wasn't overly concerned about the slow start considering the overall production – 11 runs on 12 hits and four walks.
“The lineup was a little different today,” said Mitchell coach Scott Bisbe of a couple injuries affecting his team. “But then we just started hitting the ball and we were hitting it hard.”
Including pinch hitters, 10 of 11 Mustangs batters reached base safely at least once Wednesday. Two pinch hitters that entered the game in the final inning, Erin Brown and Paige Davis, joined Renzetti with two-RBI days.
Spongers third baseman Julie Allen recorded two of Tarpon Springs' five total hits and catcher Kelsey Lynn drove in the lone, second-inning run with an RBI single to center.
Mitchell starting pitcher Jordan Fowler scattered those five Spongers hits to earn the complete-game victory. The junior improved to 14-3 on the season and struck out seven.
TS - 010 000 x --- 1-5-2MIT - 000 038 x --- 11-12-1
WP – Jordan Fowler (14-3)LP – Lindsey White