Last year, the Rams of John Carroll Catholic High ended softball season for the Marathon High Lady Fins, beating them in the Class 3A, Region 4 championship game.
Once again, it was the end of the line for the Lady Fins (20-5) Tuesday night at the hand of the Rams (16-9), which advanced to the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 3A state semifinal game set for Wednesday.
“We were definitely hoping for a better outcome but it wasn’t meant to be. We knew going in that this team was really good but we thought we could play with them,” said Marathon High coach Kevin Freeman about the 17-0 loss.
The Rams loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs, but the Lady Fins were able to get out of the inning allowing only one run.
“Their pitcher, a senior, is really good and has a really good rise ball. We just couldn’t lay off of that pitch and it hurt us all night,” Freeman said. “The wheels fell off defensively in the top of the third. They scored nine runs in the third.”
Mental mistakes hurt the Lady Fins, he said, and the Rams took advantage. One more run in the fourth inning and six more in the fifth ended the game early due to an FHSAA rule when there is a margin of 10 or 15 runs in the score.
The Marathon High girls had one hit by Karli Roberts in the bottom of the fifth inning. Baelee Pettry was able to get on base by a walk in the third.
“They were our only two base runners of the game,” Freeman said.
Regardless of the outcome, he said the team learned from the regional game.
“We truly believe we can get back this far next year and hopefully to the final four,” he said. “This was our last game for three seniors: Rachel Philcox, Hannah Child and Amanda Ban. These three have been part of our program since seventh grade and we will miss them.”
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219