Prep softball | Bradenton Christian, Cardinal Mooney cruise into 3A-10 title game

jlembo@bradenton.comApril 18, 2012 

SARASOTA -- Bradenton Christian employed some small ball Tuesday during the semifinals of the Class 3A-District 10 softball tournament.

Most importantly, the Panthers employed winning ball, too. And that was enough to please coach Gene Brown, who watched BCS defeat Saint Stephen's 10-0 to reach Thursday's district final back at Out-of-Door Academy.

"We've been working on that: 'Let the team we're playing come to us,'" said Brown, whose team won the Class 1A-District 8 title last year. "And we did that (Tuesday). Make them throw a strike. You've just got to play the way the game is going

on for you."

The Panthers (11-10) scored six runs in the third inning on just three hits. Savannah Shontere and Rachel Brown drew bases-loaded walks, Hailey Dearlove and Lily DeVirgilis stroked run-scoring singles, and two other runs scored on a Falcons error and a wild pitch.

BCS walked four times during the rally.

"We were too aggressive in the first inning, and I think it hurt us," Gene Brown said. "I talked to them and said, 'We've got to play our game.' If we play our game, we have a chance in every game we play this year."

Shontere added an RBI single in the third, and DeVirgilis doubled in the fourth and scored. Dearlove earned the win, allowing one hit in the five-inning game.

Claudia Hynds singled for the Falcons (4-12).

The Panthers, the tournament's second seed, meet top-seeded Cardinal Mooney at 5 p.m. Thursday in the championship game.

The Cougars won both regular-season meetings.

"Thursday, we want to play the best game we can play and let the chips fall where they fall," Brown said. "That's all we've asked for all year."

CARDINAL MOONEY 10, OUT-OF-DOOR ACADEMY 0 (5) -- The top-seeded Cougars dispatched the fourth-seeded Thunder in five innings to reach the district final.

Natalie Maglich's three-run home run capped a six-run fourth inning for Cardinal Mooney (14-8), which led 1-0 after three.

Nicole Russomanno had three hits and scored two runs, and Kayla Scofield tripled in a run, singled and scored twice.

Kiarra Womack had a hit for ODA (3-15).

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