Commodores Rule In District Softball Finale
By Ed Pierce // April 19, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Eau Gallie claimed the Class 6A, District 7 softball championship by knocking off Melbourne 6-1 Thursday night at Melbourne High School.
The Commodores (25-2) will host the loser of Friday’s District 8 title game between Deltona and Seabreeze in the regional quarterfinals Tuesday.
As district runner-up, Melbourne will travel Tuesday to meet the winner of the Deltona-Seabreeze game in another regional quarterfinal matchup.
Eau Gallie pushed across run in the third inning take a 1-0 lead against Melbourne (17-9) on a batter hit by a pitch, a walk and an error.
Pitcher Megan LaFon held the Bulldogs scoreless through four innings of play and then the Commodores broke loose for four runs in the bottom of the fourth grabbing a 5-0 lead on singles by Mackenzie Conley, Alexis Keller and Michelle Paul,two walks, a hit batter and a sacrifice fly.
Melbourne struck back in the top of the fifth inning, scoring on a single by Melanie Murphy, an infield hit by Mackenzie Soughers and an RBI-single by Ember Wells.
A lone run in the fifth inning tallied by the Commodores was the final scoring by either team, as LaFon set down the Bulldogs in the sixth to secure the victory and the district crown for Eau Gallie.
Eau Gallie, which captured last year’s Class 4A softball crown, is bidding to return to the state finals in Clermont after powering through the regular season and the district tourney.
“The difference tonight was that Megan LaFon’s pitches were on target,” said Russell Reese, Eau Gallie coach “Her pitches were hitting their mark and we had timely hitting, but Melbourne played tough defense.”
Reese said he will hold a practice for his team Friday to continue to stay sharp for the regional opener.
Melbourne coach Brad Soughers said he’s confident his team will do well in the regionals and may end up playing Eau Gallie a third time in the regional semifinals.
The Bulldogs fell 7-4 to the Commodores in the regular season.
“I told the girls we played good and we played solid,” Soughers said. “We didn’t make mistakes and there’s a good chance we could wind up with a rematch next week against Eau Gallie in the state tournament.”
LaFon said she felt better about the district championship game than the previous time she faced Melbourne.
“I pitched better tonight than In did before,” she said. “It just that simple.”