Springstead

Eagles’ Murray earns redemption with walk-off

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead shortstop Jake Murray uncorks a throw during Tuesday night's game against Nature Coast. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – Tuesday night’s game couldn’t have started much worse for Jake Murray. The very first batter reached on the first of three throwing errors by Springstead’s senior shortstop.
Two of those miscues occurred in the opening frame, when visiting Nature Coast pushed across two runs. That made it all the more satisfying for Murray when his teammates mobbed him in the bottom of the seventh, his base hit pushing across the winning run in a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Pfent, Lady Eagles enjoying dream season

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Paige Pfent steps into the box for Springstead Friday night against Hernando. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – Not a whole lot has gone wrong for Springstead’s softball team throughout the regular season, and with the postseason approaching the Lady Eagles have the luxury of dreaming big.
They concluded the regular season at 23-1 with a 7-0 home victory over Hernando Friday night. Among the stars of the game was sophomore catcher Paige Pfent, just as she has been all year long. Out of the third spot in the batting order, Pfent went 3-for-3 with a pair of run-scoring singles.

Sports notebook: Three tennis teams finish first in district

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Nature Coast's Hunter Schwefringhaus (right) and Dakota Willey team up in No. 1 doubles competition at the 2A-7 Tournament in Crystal River. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

This week’s district tennis tournaments proved fruitful for Hernando County’s prep squads, as three of them collected championship trophies and moved on to regionals next week.
Crystal River played host to the Class 2A, District 7 Tournament for both boys and girls, with action extending into a third day after heavy rained washed away many of Tuesday’s scheduled matches.
By Thursday, the Nature Coast boys and Hernando girls had laid claim to district crowns. The Sharks cruised to the title, locking up first place before finals even began late Wednesday.

Sports notebook: Springstead reaches Farm Bureau semis

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead battled Bishop McLaughlin on its home field Tuesday night during the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

It was a busy week for Hernando County’s prep baseball programs, as they played host to the Farm Bureau Insurance Classic. The five-day long tournament came to an end on Friday night, with Mitchell defeating South Sumter in the final at Hernando’s Emerson Field, 2-1.

Among the county schools, Springstead came within a game of reaching the championship contest, falling to South Sumter in a semifinal on the Eagles’ field on Thursday, 6-5 on a walk-off in the seventh inning. Springstead (14-4) had defeated Wesley Chapel on Monday, 11-1, and Bishop McLaughlin on Tuesday, 3-1.

Kolwicz’s walk-off gives Springstead wild win

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead third baseman Emily Kolwicz hit a walk-off three-run home run against Nature Coast Tuesday night. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

SPRING HILL – When Emily Kolwicz looks back on the first home run of her prep career, she’ll have quite a story to tell. Springstead’s freshman leadoff hitter made it a memorable moment for all who attended Tuesday night’s softball game against visiting Nature Coast. Three days after the Lady Eagles captured a crisply played 1-0 victory over the Lady Sharks in the Leopard Slam final, Kolwicz’s three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh provided the hosts with an improbable 10-9 triumph over their county rivals.

Sports notebook: Springstead claims Leopard Slam crown

Top photo by Chris Bernhardt Jr.
Other photos by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Nature Coast, 1-0, in the final of the Leopard Slam softball tournament at Tom Varn Park Saturday night. Photo by Chris Bernhardt Jr.

BROOKSVILLE – Kama Woodall had plenty of reason to run out of gas by the time the bottom of the seventh rolled around in Saturday night’s final.
Springstead’s junior pitcher was working on her 14th straight inning of work across two games spanning roughly four hours, yet had somehow managed to dominate a dominant Nature Coast squad.
Oh yeah, and she wasn’t even feeling well, enduring a battle with bronchitis that frequently forced her to step off the mound and cough throughout the game.

Bienstock, Laferty deliver clutch hits for Eagles

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Springstead's Stephen Bienstock runs to third base during Thursday night's game at Central. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – A comfortable lead completely erased, Springstead teetered on the brink of a painful county loss Thursday night.
Host Central had rallied from an early 5-0 deficit, knotting the score at 6-all in the bottom of the sixth inning. But Stephen Bienstock and Luke Laferty had pivotal RBI singles in a four-run seventh, and the Eagles pulled out a 10-6 victory.
“There’s not a feeling like it,” Bienstock said. “Pulling a win out like that, that’s the best.”

Sports notebook: Eagles earn county weightlifting title

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Central's Matthew Warner attempts to tag Nature Coast's Brandon Riera during Tuesday's game at Central. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Coming into Wednesday’s boys weightlifting Hernando County Championship Meet, host Springstead didn’t appear to be a favorite on paper. Even up until the final few lifts, local coaches assumed Central had the title in the bag. But when the final numbers were counted, it was the Eagles who came out on top, edging the Bears atop the team standings, 60-56.

Battery powers Leopards to comeback

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Hernando senior Pierce Kimbrough unleashes a warmup pitch during Thursday night's game against Springstead. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

BROOKSVILLE – Pierce Kimbrough did what he could to stay even in a pitchers’ duel, and when a few tough breaks defensively cost him, his catcher Tyson Libengood came through in the clutch.
The result was a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Springstead Thursday night at a chilly Emerson Field.
“The battery tonight was the difference, both of them,” Hernando head coach Tim Sims said.
Despite the fact that the Leopards (4-2) and Eagles (5-2) do not share a district, the high level of pride involved was evident considering both teams sent an ace left-hander to the mound.

Huden, Lady Eagles ready for regionals

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

When Springstead’s girls basketball program played its first games in 1976, its current players were certainly a long way from roaming the Earth. Even head coach Jay McNerney wasn’t born yet. It has taken 40 seasons, 15 head coaches (two of them for multiple stints) and 862 official games, but the Lady Eagles will finally play in their first regional playoff tilt on Thursday when they travel to Seffner-Armwood for a 7 p.m. contest.

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