DELTONA - Ridgeview High’s final flurry to get a Final Four finish for first year softball coach Angela Agurkis ended abruptly at the hands of an in-the-park grand slam as the Panthers lost an 11-3 …
DELTONA - Ridgeview High’s final flurry to get a Final Four finish for first year softball coach Angela Agurkis ended abruptly at the hands of an in-the-park grand slam as the Panthers lost an 11-3 region 1-5A championship game against second seed Deltona High Friday in Deltona.
“A homer is bad, a grand slam is worse, but a grand slam in-the-park homer off an error hurts more,” said Agurkis, who finishes at 19-7 with a region final finish. “Not a true grand slam, but still a four run hit.”
Down 2-0 against the number two ranked team in the state, Ridgeview got their own blast, a three-run home run from Hannah Crosby in the fourth, to take the lead in her region 1-5A championship game with Deltona on Friday.
“I just said, ‘Holy Smoke’ and tried to, first, enjoy the moment with the team, but, second, try to get them to realize that we still had innings to play,” said Agurkis. “I know that feeling and I know how teams can respond. Deltona is a very good team and I was expecting them to come after us.”
And, come after them Deltona did with a set of singles and a misplayed line drive getting deep into left field for an in-the-park homer in the fourth that jumped Deltona to a 10-3 lead.
“I don’t have one regret for the season as these girls played their hearts out,” said Agurkis. “That ball hit a edge on the field and went over Hannah’s head (Left fielder Hannah Crosby) and the girls was fast as lightning on the bases. Hannah just got a bad bounce.”
With freshman pitcher Saige Bialek getting tremendous defensive support behind her with the Wolves batting lineup connecting but being held on the basepaths for most of the latter part of the game, Agurkis saw Deltona chip away at her star hurler with the Wolves getting six singles and a walk in fourth excruciatingly take command of the game.
“I was just trying to keep ahead of the game, but then they hit that shot to left field that Hannah misplayed,” said Agurkis. “The emotions of the season were well worth the decision to take this job.”
For her encore next season, Agurkis will be working with her returners; losing just three senior starters; Cynthia Hilton, Mary Girgis and KK Watts.
“Cynthia became one of our dependable hitters late in the season and Mary I’m going to miss a lot,” said Agurkis. “KK was a clutch player all season and those three set the tone of our games.”
Agurkis noted her young team next year might be ready to get a second shot at Deltona or another region run.
“We had a lot of growing this year and we got hot at the right time,” said Agurkis. “I foresee us making another run next year. Our motto became ‘Stay humble, stay hungry’. We’ll be back.”