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Softball shuts out Oakleaf for 8A state title

The+varsity+softball+team+shut+out+Oakleaf%2C+1-0%2C+to+earn+their+first+ever+state+title+on+May+24.
The varsity softball team shut out Oakleaf, 1-0, to earn their first ever state title on May 24.

The varsity softball team shut out Oakleaf, 1-0, to earn their first ever state title on May 24.

photo by Jay Getty

photo by Jay Getty

The varsity softball team shut out Oakleaf, 1-0, to earn their first ever state title on May 24.

Bryson Turner and Osean Ronan

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The varsity softball team won the program’s first-ever state championship in a 1-0 game against top-ranked Oakleaf, who was also ranked sixth in the nation and had not been shut out since March 2017.

The deciding run was scored in the top of the seventh off a ball that ricocheted off third base, a hit by catcher Taylor Krapf that brought in courtesy runner Olivia Lipari. Lipari was running for starting pitcher Ashley Worrell, who went 4-4 at the plate.

On the mound, Worrell threw her second straight shutout in as many days, allowing three hits and striking out five.

“I pitched one of my best games ever,” Worrell said. “I was determined not to let anyone score. I was giving all I had and leaving it out on the field.”

The game was back and forth throughout its duration. The team had numerous scoring opportunities, and the bases were loaded in the top of the second and sixth innings.

“It was super exciting and frustrating at the same time,” shortstop Tyler Miller said.

Coach Dave Stone knew that the game, much like the 1-0 win over Cooper City the night before, would be decided by a single break.

“We just kept encouraging the girls to keep putting pressure on them. Just like anything, eventually with enough pressure, we would find a crack,” Stone said.

The team was aware beforehand that Oakleaf had eight players who had already committed to NCAA Division I schools, including the University of Florida and UCF. This was intimidating for the team, but not impossible.

“They’re just softball players, it doesn’t matter where you’re committed too, it’s a matter of what you bring to the table,” Worrell said.

The team finishes its historic season with a 27-5 record.

“This is an amazing group of girls that showed an enormous amount of grit, determination, maturity, love and support for each other,” Stone said. “This is a season to remember.”

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Softball shuts out Oakleaf for 8A state title