Coral Springs Charter High School softball team has become one of the best teams in the entire country. Currently ranked second in the state of Florida, and 9th in the nation, the Panthers are turning their attention to the district’s finals this Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Coral Springs Charter is currently riding a 22-game winning streak and sits at 23-1 on the season including winning both the Naples Tournament and the Big 8 Championship. They will be looking for a record fifth consecutive state championship.
“We want to break the record,” said head coach Mark Montimurro. “We want to go down as the best-ever. We can’t do anything better that. Our motto is the golden standard which means we want to be the best around. We talk about it and we feel like we can do it.”
The Panthers kicked it off on Monday afternoon against Pine Crest winning 19-0. While they know they will go in as heavy favorites, they still know they must win if they want to continue playing.
“We all know that we are going to get the best from every team,” said junior pitcher Cassidy Crump. “I think we play at a standard that never breaks and we never play down to the other team’s level.”
The Panthers currently have three seniors on the roster who will continue their softball career in college. First there’s Sara Berthiaume, who is batting .456 will be playing next year at Florida Atlantic University.
Second, the team’s leader in home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and on base percentage is Lindsey Garcia who is signed to play at Auburn. Garcia is hitting .577 which is actually second on the team behind Kiara Meikle at .585. Garcia does have 10 of the teams 19 home runs including a pair on Monday.
“She’s a winning ball player,” said Montimurro. “Since she has been in our program, our record is 138-7. She is a great talent. She is an aggressive base-runner. She hits for a lot of power and she is going Division I.”
The final member of the 2019 season recruits is Shannon Doherty who will be heading to Orlando to play at the University of Central Florida. Doherty is batting above .500 and is second on the team with nine doubles and 25 RBI’s.
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman Brianna Godfrey, playing her fourth season of varsity softball, has been lights out on the mound. She has given up only five earned runs all season pitching to an ERA under one. Her 10 wins are most on the team in front of Crump who has nine. Her best performance of the season to date came against the sixth best team in the State, Estero. She threw a no-hitter in the teams win earlier this month.
“As a pitcher, the defense behind me is incredible,” said Godfrey. “I wouldn’t be doing this well as I am if it were for my teammates. I always have someone pick me up on the field whether it is a senior or someone in my own grade.”
Godfrey also isn’t too bad of a hitter as she is north of .400 on the season and a perfect 10-10 on the base paths. As a team, the Panthers have only been caught three times in 74 attempts. Garcia leads the team with 17 steals followed by Meikle with 11.
Crump has also made 10 starts this season and is 9-0. She has given up just six runs in 37 innings on the hill and Alina Varga has made the other five starts for CSC and has four wins.
One of the most impressive stories this year has been eighth grader Jesyne Espinal. Like Godfrey, she gets it done on both sides of the ball hitting well in the .300’s and an ERA at 0.00
Despite all the success, Montimurro has told his team that if they want to make a run for another state championship, they need to play every game hard and they have done that after their first district game. Should the Panthers win on Wednesday, they will have a week off to prepare for the regional quarter final.
- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student. He also works for the Mohave Valley Daily News in Bullhead City, Arizona covering high school sports.
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