Knights hold on to region opener over Lincoln

Softball region 1-8A playoffs

By Randy Lefko
Posted 5/9/18

OAKLEAF - With a scintillating double play from Rebecca Koskey to Baylee Goddard in the sixth inning, the Oakleaf High softball team again came up with a late inning save to win a playoff game with a …

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Knights hold on to region opener over Lincoln

Softball region 1-8A playoffs

Posted

OAKLEAF - With a scintillating double play from Rebecca Koskey to Baylee Goddard in the sixth inning, the Oakleaf High softball team again came up with a late inning save to win a playoff game with a 2-1 region 1-8A quarterfinal win over Tallahassee Lincoln Wednesday at Oakleaf High School.

“I really thought she missed the bag after the catch,” said Koskey, who snagged a line drive hit and while heading to the ground, tossed out Lincoln baserunner Emma Alley at third base who had stepped off third base to head for home plate. “It was definitely instinctual to throw to third base.”

For Oakleaf coach Christina Thompson, who survived a district semifinal 3-2 win over Fleming Island with two successful suicide squeeze bunt scoring plays to make the district final, the play was one of the small parts of winning softball games with whatever works.

“Errors are part of the game and the two plays in the outfield before that double play can be considered clean hits because both girls made dives for the ball and just missed,” said Thompson, who referenced two outfield hits from Lincoln that were narrowly missed by outfielders Destiny Pacetti in left field and Jazmine Lamug in right field. “Plays like that are definitely nerve-wracking and get the team a little more tense, but then, players like Rebecca and Baylee answer with their play and it’s all good. We mentally prepare for those moments by practicing situation ball.”

Oakleaf continues it’s defense of the Class 8A title with a travel game to Tallahassee Chiles (22-3) on Tues., May 8 in the region semifinal. Chiles, a 3-2 winner over Lincoln for the district 1-8A title, defeated Atlantic Coast 13-3 in their region quarterfinal.

“We are not going to sneak up on anybody this year, for sure,” said Thompson.

Against Lincoln, with Madison Davis pounding from the pitcher’s mound with 10 strikeouts, Lincoln looked like they had not read any press clippings about the vaunted Oakleaf batting lineup as both teams struggled to cross home plate through five innings of play with the score locked at 1-0 off an RBI single from Angela Agurkis in the first inning that scored Kaylee Lambrecht who doubled in her first at bat.

As the game wore on, with Davis registering double strikeout second and third innings to stifle any Lincoln offense, Oakleaf was just as stifled with a fourth inning walk to Goddard and a single from Agurkis position Goddard for run two. A single to Madison Mifsud moved Goddard, but Lincoln catcher Taylor Thorp tagged out Goddard.

Davis whiffed three batters in the fifth with one walk and a wild pitch leaving a baserunner at second base.

In the bottom of the fifth, Pacetti, one of the fastest baserunners for Oakleaf, outran a sharp grounder to second base before landing at third base off a Katie Kistler bunt. From third, Pacetti scored off a Lambrecht bunt to put the score at 2-0.

“If we are not producing runs with hits to the outfield, we will try and score any way we can,” said Thompson, who has punched up four suicide squeeze plays in the last week to win games.

Up 2-0, Oakleaf got singed a bit in the top of the sixth as Lincoln answered with two shallow outfield hits that were missed by Pacetti and Lamug to set up a run scoring double and a 2-1 score despite the Koskey-to-Goddard double play and an easy grounder to Davis that produced the third out.

In the bottom of the sixth, Mifsud outran a wide throw to first, but Jaycie Brookshire flew out and Pacetti grounded out to give Lincoln one final at bat to change the score, but Davis snagged a three balls, two strike changeup to end the game.

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