Commodores Set Sail For Regional Softball Finals
By Ed Pierce // April 28, 2012
One Step From Final Four Return
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – A big first inning Friday night against Deltona lifted Eau Gallie into the Class 6A softball regional championship game and one step closer to a return to the state Final Four.
The Commodores (27-2) put its first two batters of the game on base before senior catcher Rachel Engle drove in Alex Powers with a booming double deep to center field.
The next Eau Gallie batter, Brittany Wylie, picked up an RBI on sacrifice fly to right field that was deep enough to score Autumn Crowther.
Centerfielder Makenzie Conley’s double knocked in Engle and Eau Gallie quickly led 3-0.
Pitcher Megan LaFon of Eau Gallie kept the power bats of Deltona (20-6) off-guard all night in the regional semifinal matchup and the Wolves weren’t able to get a runner on base until the top of the fourth inning until Danielle Scarletta singled.
But two key defensive plays by Commodores’ third baseman Sid Masso – including a leaping grab of a scorched liner — ended any further threat by Deltona in the inning.
Eau Gallie tacked on two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth on a walk by Powers, a single by Crowther and another hard-hit double by Engle that split the gap between Deltona’s left and centerfielders, careening off the outfield fence and scoring both Powers and Crowther.
“The key tonight was jumping on them early because they’ve got some good sticks at the top of their order,” said Eau Gallie coach Russell Reese. “We executed well and go them to take their starting pitcher out after just the first inning.”
With six seniors in the lineup, some of the Commodores may have played the final home game of their careers Friday night.
Powers, Engle, Wylie, Masso, LaFon and leftfielder Alexis Koller all will graduate next month and if Eau Gallie has to travel for the regional championship game Tuesday, this was the last time these players will suit up at home.
“It’s really emotional for us because every game is potentially our last game,” Powers said.
Bound for Florida State University on a softball scholarship this fall, Powers said the Commodores are not taking any opponent lightly.
“We have to just keep reminding ourselves to stay in the game and stay focused,” she said.
Eau Gallie, which captured the Class 4A championship last season, will meet the winner of Springstead and Lecanto Tuesday night for the right to advance to the Class 6A Final Four in Clermont.