Softball drops West Orange in regional championship

Team plays in final four vs. Newsome Friday in Vero Beach

Pitcher Sam Worrell hugs catcher Alicia Tomberlin as the rest of the team runs onto the field to celebrate the regional final victory over West Orange.

photo by Jake Arthur

Pitcher Sam Worrell hugs catcher Alicia Tomberlin as the rest of the team runs onto the field to celebrate the regional final victory over West Orange.

As a tiny thump was heard, a roar of cheers erupted from the visitors section at West Orange High School on Friday night at the softball regional championship game. Warrior outfielder Jade Caraway dropped what would have been the game-saving catch just over the fence as third baseman Ashley Worrell headed home to a sea of screaming teammates in the top of the eighth inning.

“I can’t even begin to explain how [scoring the run] felt; I was just overwhelmed,” Worrell said.

The extra-inning game, which lasted only an hour, started just as fast as it ended. In the top of the first inning, pitcher Sam Worrell sent in outfielder Sarah Harrison to put the girls up 1-0. It was not until the bottom of the fourth that freshman Warrior Lexie Blair put West Orange on the board with a home run.

The following three innings were filled with tough defense from both teams, as well as hard-fought pitching battles from both Sam Worrell and West Orange pitcher Lauren Mathis. Both teams found themselves in scoring positions in the seventh inning; Victoria Zarbo and Sam Worrell had chances with the bases loaded and only one out. However, neither team was able to come through. After outfielder Victoria Zarbo caught a fly ball to end the seventh, the regional final headed into extra innings.

“It was pure excitement,” head coach David Stone said. “Those opportunities don’t come along all that often. When you see something like that, I think it makes the game more exciting, and our girls didn’t quit. Our girls never quit.”

The team will return to states for the second consecutive year as they take on Newsome High School in the state semifinal on Friday, May 8 at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

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