State Final Four next week
Wherever he may be, have to believe Scootsie Fortner is smiling down right now.
Two days after the passing of the foundational coach of the program, the Wewahitchka Jr./Sr. High School softball team clawed past Jay to win a third consecutive Region 1-1A title.
The 2-0 road victory, behind a one-hitter from Brianna Bailey (23-1), advances Wewahitchka to next Wednesday’s state Class 1A semifinals in Vero Beach.
The Lady Gators (24-4) will face Holmes County while the other semifinal pits Madison County against Trenton.
Wewahitchka is the only one among those four that is a return competitor from the 2017 Final Four.
The Lady Gators managed just four hits and one RBI, but it was enough as Bailey shut down Jay.
Wewahitchka broke on top with a one run in the first and added another in the fourth.
Jay never seriously threatened until the final inning, when runners reached first and third with two outs.
Cyrina Madrid was 2 for 3 at the plate, stole two bases and scored one of the two Lady Gator runs.
Aleah Wooten and Savanah Lister had the other two singles, Gracie Price drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Kristen Nichols scored.
Bailey simply dominated, again.
She went the distance and walked just one while striking out 15.
For the season, Bailey has 272 strikeouts against just 29 walks in 143 innings; just shy of two Ks per frame.
Wewahitchka 5, Northview 0
Bailey tossed a three-hitter, Madrid had two hits and scored three times and Wewahitchka powered into the Region 1-1A final with a home win last Thursday.
The Lady Gators scored twice in the first inning, added two more runs in the third and completed the scoring with a final run in the fifth frame.
Madrid was 2 for 2 and stole three bases, Price was also 2 for 2, walked and stole a base and Wooten was 1 for 3, walked, stole a base and drove in one.
Bailey aided her own cause with a two-run single, Angela Long drove in a run, Anna Setterich was 1 for 3 with an RBI and Katie Shealy singled as Wewahitchka pounded out eight hits.
Bailey struck out 15 while not walking a batter over seven innings.