VERO BEACH – Defending 1A state champion Chiefland and Class 5A Baker County (Glen St. Mary) both won their state semifinal games on Wednesday and will play for a state softball title today. Both teams are ranked in the top 20 of the Prep Zone Power Poll.
Chiefland (18-4), which is ranked fourth in the state, rallied from an early 1-0 deficit to eliminate Bell, 6-1. Freshman Erika Gilliam, batting 9th in the line-up, had a two-run triple, and junior pitcher Lauren Stalvey tossed a two-hitter to send the Indians (18-4) to the Class 1A state title game against Jay at 11:05 a.m.
The Chiefland-Jay game will be a rematch of last year’s state title game won by the Indians, 9-2. The Royals (23-3), who are ranked fifth in the Miracle Sports state softball rankings, upset top-ranked Sneads, 6-1, in the other semifinal.
In a match-up of top five teams in Class 5A, Baker County pounded out 14 hits to eliminate defending state runner-up Belleview, 6-4. Sophomore Macy Jackson went 3-for-4 at the plate and pitched a complete-game in the circle to improve to 14-2 on the season. Jackson walked only two and struck out eight.
Junior Dee Washington, a University of Florida basketball commit, was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI’s and made some great defensive plays for the Wildcats (23-4).
Baker County will play defending state champion American Heritage (Plantation) for the 5A state title today at 7:05 p.m. The Stallions defeated Boca Ciega (Gulfport), 4-0, in the other semifinal.
One other area team, University Christian (Jacksonville), lost in the Class 3A state semifinals. The Christians (19-6), who were making their first-ever fast pitch state softball tournament appearance, fell to Lakeland Christian, which is ranked second in the state.
The future is bright for U.C.S., which is ranked 12th in the Prep Zone Power Poll. The Fighting Christians started two 8th-graders, two freshmen and two sophomores in the 4-1 loss.
Area teams in the Florida high school softball state championships:
Thursday, May 7 (State championship games)
1A – Chiefland 3, Jay 2 – Chiefland (19-4) wins back-to-back state titles
5A – Baker County (Glen St. Mary) 1, American Heritage (Plantation) 0 – Wildcats (24-4) win their first-ever fast pitch state softball title
Friday, May 8 (State Semifinals)
2A – Aucilla Christian (Monticello) 1, Canterbury (St. Petersburg) 0
4A – West Nassau (Callahan) 6, Santa Fe (Alachua) 0
6A – Forest (Ocala) 2, Oakleaf (Orange Park) 1 (8)
Saturday, May 9 (State championship games)
2A – Aucilla Christian (Monticello) 11, Grandview Prep (Boca Raton) 0 – Wolves’ (20-8) 1st-ever team title in school history
4A – Coral Springs Charter 3, West Nassau (Callahan) 1 – Best finish in school history (state runners-up)
6A – Forest (Ocala) 8, Chamberlain (Tampa) 7 – 1st state softball title for the Wildcats (30-2)