With Hernando County public schools out for spring break this week, the sports schedule was relatively lite outside of Friday and Saturday’s Leopard Slam softball tournament.
Yet the county’s baseball teams still kept busy, all playing multiple games throughout the week.
After getting rained out on Monday, Nature Coast and Springstead squared off on Wednesday, with the visiting Eagles pulling out a 12-7 victory.
John Oliveira and Dominic Marrone each had three hits and drove in two runs for Springstead, while Dakota Blevens and Jack Jasiak added two runs batted in apiece. Jasiak also threw four innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on a hit and three walks, striking out nine.
The Eagles (8-2) suffered a 4-3 walk-off loss at Land O’ Lakes the next night, losing a 3-0 lead when the Gators scored three times in the sixth and won it with a run in the seventh. Jasiak went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Marrone plated the other run, while Joey Delgatto tossed five shutout innings, yielding a hit and three walks to go with six strikeouts.
As for the Sharks (5-3), they had a better night on Tuesday with an 18-8 triumph over Weeki Wachee, despite Dalton Mosser going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBI and Nick Scarangella adding a double and two RBI for the Hornets.
Hernando (6-3) lost to Sebring on Tuesday, 11-2. Morgan Ashton and Austin Legg each went 1-for-3 with a RBI, and Logan Flood had two hits, including a double.
The Leopards rebounded with a 3-2 victory over Fivay on Thursday. Legg and Carson Lashley were both 1-for-3 with a RBI.
Central (4-4) squeaked out a 1-0 win in 10 innings against Weeki Wachee on Thursday. Jackson Zammit led the Hornets going 3-for-4 and Mosser fanned 11 batters, throwing seven shutout innings giving up four hits and two walks.
In the sixth annual Leopard Slam, held at Tom Varn Park, Friday was a good day for three county squads. Defending champ Springstead thumped Gulf, 15-0, and Kissimmee-Liberty, 12-0.
Kama Woodall went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI in the first game, while throwing a three-inning no-hitter in the mercy-rule shortened contest, striking out nine. Kayla Cruz, Mackenzie McIntyre and Delaney Woodall all drove in two runs.
Paige Pfent smacked two home runs against Liberty, plating five runs, and Delaney Woodall finished 3-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Abby Oliver was 2-for-3, scoring two runs and knocking in two. Kama Woodall gave up two hits in five scoreless innings, whiffing 10.
Meanwhile, Nature Coast handled Ocala-West Port, 7-1, and Wiregrass Ranch, 12-1. The host Lady Leopards knocked off Zephyrhills, 3-2, and Tampa-Sickles, 5-2.
On Saturday, Springstead defeated Hernando in the semifinals, 2-0, with Kama Woodall producing a 1-hitter, striking out 10. The Lady Leopards (8-6) went on to drop the third-place matchup to South Sumter, 1-0.
Nature Coast downed South Sumter, 7-2, setting up the Lady Eagles versus the Lady Sharks in the final for the second straight season. Springstead repeated as champion with an 8-2 win.
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.