KISSIMMEE - With the twitch of Baylee Goddard’s bat; a seventh inning single that pushed Oakleaf High to a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Eustis High, the Class 5A runnerup, in game two of the …
KISSIMMEE – With the twitch of Baylee Goddard’s bat; a seventh inning single that pushed Oakleaf High to a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Eustis High, the Class 5A runnerup, in game two of the Kissimmee Klassic annual softball powerfest, the Lady Knights surged to a championship 7-3 win over Bartow on Saturday.
“Baylee Goddard will always come in the clutch,” said Oakleaf coach Christina Thompson. “With the game on the line, bases loaded, she hit a bullet to the fence...As soon as she made contact I knew the game was over.”
The tournament win is the second consecutive title for the Knights (18-2) at the normally talent-laden collection of the best teams from around the southeastern United States. Oakleaf was third in 2015 after weather forced cancellation of the 2016 finals.
Oakleaf junior pitcher Madisyn Davis was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Also in the mix in the Blue Division was the resurgent Keystone Heights High (14-6) program under coach Jessica Marquart who finished strong after losing a 6-5 thriller to the same Bartow team in the opening round of play. The Lady Indians, who won the Klassic Gold title in 2011, finished with an 8-3 loss to 8A-Lakewood Ranch (14-4) and 10-1 loss to 6A-Land-O-Lakes (17-4) before finishing with a 17-0 win over 7A-South Fork High of Stuart (8-10), a Final Four finisher in 2016 and 2017, on Saturday.
Oakleaf’s path went through with an opening 4-1 win over 9A-Timber Creek (13-3), the 6-5 over Eustis (12-3), a 17-1 win over 9A-Stoneman Douglas of Parkland (11-4, region finalist) and the final 7-3 win over Bartow (18-2) Saturday night.
“The reason why we pay such a grueling schedule, is so that our girls can be put in pressure situations,” said Thompson. “Playing easy teams does not make us any better. We have to go toe-to-toe with best.”
Against Timber Creek on Thursday, Oakleaf got run scoring hits from Kaylee Lambrecht, Goddard and Madison Mifsud with Davis getting the win on the mound with five strikeouts.
With the score locked at 1-1 into the sixth, Oakleaf unloaded with three runs coming after strikeouts to Kistler and Lambrecht preceded a Rebecca Koskey single and a Goddard double for a run, then a Mifsud run scoring single with Goddard and Angela Agurkis on base. Agurkis reached on an error.
Against Eustis on Friday, Goddard’s gamewinner came with the Knights’ giving up a first inning run off an opening triple, a walk and a run scoring single off Davis. Both pitchers locked down with Davis whiffing five more batters; two in the first, until the dramatic two run hit from Goddard with Kistler on base from a bunt and Lambrecht on base from an error.
In Saturday’s slugfest over Stoneman Douglas, a 17-1 battering, Oakleaf got four runs batted in from Koskey and three apiece from Kistler and Madi McDaniel as a designated hitter. Cambria Arturo took the win on the mound with three strikeouts.
In the Blue championship game against Bartow, Oakleaf got a five RBI night from Koskey in the decisive win with a three-run in-the-park homer in the fifth with Destiny Pacetti and Katie Kistler on base with singles. In the seventh, Oakleaf added three more with Koskey and Goddard doubling and Angela Agurkis singling in the final run. Davis pitched the entire game with five strikeouts.
“Rebecca has always been THAT player,” said Thompson. “She is the career batting Leader and career home run leader here at Oakleaf.”
For Keystone Heights, game one against Bartow opened with two first inning runs off three singles and four stolen bases including home plate before the Lady Indians responded with a five run third innning.
An error to Ashton Ludwig opened the fifth with singles from Lexi Northway, Bailey Story, Molly Crawford and Makayla Smith, plus two errors put runs on the scoreboard for the Indians.
Bartow came back with three in the fourth with two errors and a single and a final run in seventh.
Against Lakewood Ranch, Keystone Heights got run scoring hits from Crawford and Rollins with Megan Moncrief taking the loss on the mound
Down 5-1 into the third, Keystone Heights got two more off singles to Northway and Jennings, a grounder to Story and a two run double from Crawford.
Against Lake -O-Lakes, Rollins had a solo run batted in in the 10-1 loss scoring Story who had tripled to open the fourth inning.
Against South Fork, Keystone Heights piled on 17 runs in just four innings behind a four run slate for Crawford, three runs for Savannah Channell and Story and two runs apiece from hits to Smith and Cami Worley. Keystone Heights got three runs in the first inning off four singles and two stolen bases. In the second, the Lady Indians nailed six more runs with Story and Worley both getting two run hits and Crawford doubling, then stealing third and home for a run.