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Tampa Bay Softball Game Balls & Dinger Tracker - 2/29/24

Parrish Community INF Alex Call.

The extra day of the year - and transitively the extra day of the softball season - provided plenty of action across the Tampa Bay area.


Some notable results: Manatee came back from an early deficit to hand Riverview (Sarasota) its first loss in a battle of undefeated teams on the South Suncoast. The Academy of the Holy Names was in full control in a run-rule victory over Hernando, whereas McKeel Academy picked off Lake Wales in a 3-2 decision out east. Lake Region needed just five hits to defeat Auburndale, 9-4, and River Ridge kept its shutout streak alive with a 4-0 decision over Sunlake.


We got to see a battle of Hillsborough County unbeatens on Thursday between Sumner and Plant, make sure you read that game recap here.


Here are Thursday's Game Balls, Dinger Tracker and Friday's Games to Watch:


Game Balls:


Josie Alderson, Sr., Manatee – Alderson’s Hurricanes battled back again and again in Thursday’s extra inning win over Riverview (Sarasota) and her big hit was the perfect example of it. With one swing of the bat, she tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with a homer to force extras. Alderson went 2-for-4 with a couple RBI and a couple runs scored.

 

Lilly Jackson, So., River Ridge – Quieted a red-hot Sunlake lineup with a complete game one-hitter to keep the Royal Knights undefeated and without a blemish in the runs-against column. Jackson struck out 11 Seahawks on the way to a 4-0 triumph.

 

Alex Call, Sr., Parrish Community – Was the rally starter for the Bulls multiple times in the high-scoring victory at Sarasota. In the seventh, the Virginia signee roped a double to center that brought in a pair to tie the game, part of a five-run frame that stole an 11-9 victory over the Lady Sailors.

 

Makenna Lee, Jr., Palmetto – Dangerous both at the plate and in the circle, Lee smacked her second home run in four games and struck out nine across five shutout innings for the Tigers, who were victorious, 8-1, over Lakewood Ranch.

 

Hailey Mercado, Hollins – Her RBI double in the seventh proved important insurance for the Royals, who held off a late Dunedin rally to hand the Falcons their first loss. Mercado went 3-for-4 with two total extra base hits and a run scored on Thursday night.


Dinger Tracker:


Abby McLemore, Dunedin (4)

Kamryn Wallisa, George Jenkins (2)

Angie Isner, Hernando Christian (2)

Makenna Bellaire, Land O’Lakes (2)

Addison Futch, Osceola (2)

Theresa Diez, Osceola (2)

Makenna Lee, Palmetto (2)

Kacey Scott, Academy of the Holy Names (1)

Cira Whitchard, All Saints’ Academy (1)

Aleena Jones, Alonso (1)

Lilliana Smith, Countryside (1)

Payton Spears, George Jenkins (1)

Josie Alderson, Manatee (1)

Lahela Haney, Mitchell (1)

Angelina Rodriguez, Osceola (1)

Jalynn Fredman, Seffner Christian (1)

Tyra Griggs, Southeast (1)


Friday's Games to Watch:


Calvary Christian & East Lake at the Montverde Academy Invitational -- East Lake opens play for Tampa area teams with Oakleaf, then Calvary Christian faces Episcopal School of Jacksonville immediately after. The duo are on a crash course for a long-awaited matchup on Friday depending on the result of their first game. If they both win (or lose), the Eagles and Warriors will see each other in the second round.


Osceola (4-0) at Seminole (2-2) -- Someone's going to call someone the 'School Over the Bridge' (SOB for short) by the end of the night. The Warriors and Warhawks split the season series, each taking the road game. Seminole cruised to a 9-2 victory in the regular season finale last season, which left a bitter taste in Osceola's mouth.


Newsome (2-1) at Robinson (2-1) -- This feels like a measuring stick game for the Knights, who fell 10-4 in a matinee against Alonso on Tuesday. Both of Newsome's wins have come by a single run.


River Ridge (4-0) at Land O'Lakes (2-2) -- Whenever this matchup is on the schedule, you've got to circle it. While it may not have the same amount of gusto on it since it's not a district game anymore, this remains one of Pasco County's best softball rivalries. River Ridge puts its scoreless streak on the line once more against a Land O'Lakes lineup that posted 10 in a loss to Wiregrass and eight in a win over Academy at the Lakes on Wednesday.

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