By: Matt Rothman
The Coral Springs Charter softball team once again will be playing in a regional final, after defeating Pompano Beach 19-0 Tuesday afternoon.
The game was called after two and a half innings due to the mercy rule, as the Panthers improved their record to 26-1 and now have outscored Pompano Beach 49-0 in three games this season. It also brings the run differential to 281 on the season.
“Usually your regional semi-final game isn’t this lopsided, but our hitting approach was really spot on from the first batter of the game,” said head coach Mark Montimurro. “Our pitching was solid, and we were opportunistic offensively. We kind of broke their spirit in the first inning.”
Freshmen Brianna Godfrey was given the start and picked up her 13th win of the season.
After a diving catch from Alexis Johnson to start the game, Godfrey retired the next two batters. The first two hitters for CSC reached in the bottom of the first, and Pompano Beach intentionally walked Lindsey Garcia loading the bases for Shannon Doherty to open the scoring with a two-run single. Garcia was later intentionally walked with the bases loaded later in the inning to force in a run and for a third time later in the first.
“At the end of the day, it helps me and my team. It helps us score runs so it is what it is,” said Garcia.
In total, the first 12 batters would all reach base highlighted by both a suicide squeeze and safety squeeze from Johnson and Kiara Meikle respectively as well as a three-run home run from Godfrey for her first of the of her season. CSC put 22 batters up in the inning and scored 18 runs, which is the most under Coach Montimurro.
Godfrey once again set down all three hitters in the second, and the Panthers scored another run in the home half, before Alina Varga came in for the final three outs.
“I felt good on the mound. I had a lot of help from my defense behind me and it was a lot of fun, said Godfrey, who added, “Going into my at-bat, I felt really good at the plate. I went up with a purpose and confidence that I could do it.”
There were a few other Panthers that had huge days at the plate. Cassidy Crump walked, had two hits and drove in two runs. Johnson and Meikle each drove in two runs as well with Godfrey leading the teams with five RBI’s and Doherty with four. Tatianna Luersen and Jesyne Espinal also drove one in.
Up next, the Panthers will play Thursday afternoon against Key West at. 4 p.m. It is the first time in the past four seasons that CSC will not be facing Gulliver Prep, who blew a 6-0 lead on Tuesday and fell 10-9. The Panthers won 10-0 in that last meeting versus Key West.
“I always thought it would be cool to play somebody else, but my assistant coach thinks they bring a variable to the table that we haven’t seen,” Montimurro said.
The winner of this game will advance to the state championship where teams will look for two wins for a title.