Gainesville’s Ayanna Woodard helps lead West all-stars to victory

Mother Nature had her way at the North Florida All-Star Series Softball Classic at Santa Fe High School in Alachua on Saturday.

However, before the event got washed out, the West all-star team, comprised of players from Gainesville High, Columbia (Lake City), Union County (Lake Butler) and Santa Fe, among others, rallied for a 5-4 win against the East.

With the scored tied 4-4 in the bottom of the 6th inning, Gainesville’s Ayanna Woodard doubled home Reah Jones of Union County, who had reached on an error, for the decisive run.

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“I mean it was fat,” Woodard said of the pitch. “I was just right under it, so I just missed it.”

However, the senior got enough of it to pick up the game-winning RBI.

Meanwhile, Bell’s Jessica White, who had an RBI single and a run scored, tossed a complete game in the circle.

White worked out of a couple of jams in the game.

She walked the first two batters in the top of the second inning but got a double play to end the inning, and she got a key strike out in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded.

“I’m proud of Jess,” said Bell coach Krystal Holley, who was the head coach of the West. “She had a knee injury this year and has overcome it.”

GHS catcher Brianna Boggs drove in a run in the first inning, but also had a big hit to right field in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 4-4, scoring Woodard who had singled.

Addison Joseph, who played first base this year for GHS, also had an RBI single in the game.

“When I got the roster, I saw that I had some heavy hitters, and that was nice,” Holley said laughing. “Fun group of girls.”

Alyssa Payne of Matanzas (Palm Coast) had a big day at the plate for the East as she drove in all four of their runs, including a 2-RBI single in the top of the fifth for a 4-3 lead.

The game was a last opportunity for the seniors to showcase their talents in their final game as a high school senior.

“It’s a chance for us coaches to get to know the girls that we play against on a more personal level,” said Columbia coach Trudy Andrews, who assisted Holley. “It’s just exciting, you’ve got girls here that are looking to do things to try and get to the next level.”


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