Auburndale Eliminates Terriers Despite Tragedy

By  //  May 1, 2012

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Season ends for Titusville

Titusville and Auburndale players gather in the outfield after the Class 5A regional semifinals in Titusville to say a prayer following Friday's tragic death of an Auburndale player's sibling. (Image by Jeff Navin)

BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – Brooke Hutto’s teammates on the Auburndale High softball team gave her a present Monday night as the Bloodhounds rallied to beat Titusville High 10-4 in the Class 5A regional semifinals at Chain Of Lakes Park.

Hutto was mourning the death of her 22-month-old brother Brady, who was struck by a car before Friday’s scheduled game at Titusville High School.

Brady Hutto died later that day.

“He was on the mound with me the whole game,” said Hutto, who pitched a complete game to improve her record to 13-2 as Auburndale moved to 20-8 on the season.

“I had to do it for him. When we started scoring all those runs, I looked up and knew he was still here,” she said.

Auburndale scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie and end Titusville’s historic season. The Terriers won their first district softball title in 2012.

Chandler Middlebrook hammered a home run over the left-field fence to give Auburndale a 4-3 advantage. Casey Grove reached on a bloop single just over the head of Titusville shortstop Taylor Moser.

Meghan Lindell followed with a single off the fence in right-center field as Grove held at second base when Terriers right fielder Jasmine Corriveau almost the caught the drive.

Titusville players get ready for infield practice before Monday's Class 5A regional softball semifinals against Auburndale at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville. (Image by Jeff Navin)

Good luck

“It brought good luck when we scored those runs,”said Hutto, a freshman right-hander.”Everyone touched it before they got a hit, including Destinee.”

Corriveau, who  came on in relief after the grand slam, was able to work her way out of a bases-loaded threat without giving up a run.

Titusville, which finished the season 15-11, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Ciera Schumaker walked, moved to second on Cheyenne Davidson’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Moser’s line-drive single to center field.

Kelsey Jefferson dominated on the pitcher’s mound for the Terriers during the first four innings. She limited the Bloodhounds to one hit and struck out five during that span.

“Kelsey started to miss her spots,” said Titusville coach Kyle Miller, who finished his fourth season at the helm of the Terriers. “Anytime you face a team like Auburndale that hits the ball the way they do, it’s difficult to make adjustments.”

Auburndale erased Titusville’s 1-0 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth as Lindell led off with a double to the corner in left field.

She advanced to third on Higgins’ sacrifice bunt and scored on Glover’s bloop single to right field. Kayla Grinslade’s double to left field sent pinch runner Ashton Leatherwork home with the tie-breaking run. Kelsee Cullop’s opposite-field double to left field drove in Grinslade to make it 3-1.

Jefferson worked her way out of trouble as she retired Ally Baert on a grounder to Moser at short as Cullop held at second. Kristin Akin ran down Deanna Littles’ fly ball to center field to end the inning.

Titusville tied the game at 3-3 with two runs in the home half of the fifth. Corriveau reached on an infield hit that went off the glove of Glover at third base. Mikaela McShane reached on a fielder’s choice as Corriveau was forced out a second on a strong throw by Lindell, the catcher.

Big hits

Schumaker stroked a double just inside the right-field line and McShane reached third base as she slid under Glover’s tag in a close play. After Hutto struck out Davidson on a called third strike, Moser hammered a double to right-center field to drive in McShane and Schumaker to tie the game.

Jefferson’s line drive to second base was caught by Littles to end the inning.

“We lose three seniors – Taylor Moser, third baseman Alyssia Massey and left fielder Mikaela McShane,” Miller said. “I hope that this season can steer them. I hope we have what it takes to take the next step.”

The Bloodhounds extended their lead to 10-3 with two runs in the top of the seventh. With two outs, Glover singled to left and Grinslade reached on an infield hit. Corriveau hit Cullop with a pitch to load the bases.

Baert’s double to left field drove in two runs, but the inning ended as Schumaker tagged out Cullop at home plate as she tried to score all the way from first base.

“It was tough to play this game,” Auburndale coach Mike Littles said. “It was a long way from home. I’m really glad that Titusville moved the game here (Chain of Lakes). It was awesome for them to do that for us. It would have been tough to play at the high school (after the accident).”

Kelsey Jefferson dominated on the pitcher's mound for the Terriers during the first four innings. She limited the Bloodhounds to one hit and struck out five during that span. (Image by Jeff Navin)

Despite Jefferson’s early dominance, Littles thought his team eventually would hit.

“The girls had so much adrenaline and excitement,” Littles said.”They had to calm down. They looked tentative in their early at-bats.”

Titusville whittled the final margin to 10-4 with one run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

With two outs, Schumaker reached second on a throwing error by Glover and scored on a single to center by Davidson. Moser’s deep drive over the fence in left field was ruled a foul ball.

Controversy

She then was called out in a controversial play at first base as Deanna Littles knocked down her line drive at second base and threw her out in a close play to end the game.

Auburndale will face Dunedin in the regional finals. A win would send the Bloodhounds to the Class 5A Final Four.


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