Santa Fe blanks Trinity Prep to advance to region final

Santa Fe coach Gene Findley waves Maren Hornsby home after a throw past third base in the fourth innning Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Santa Fe coach Gene Findley waves Maren Hornsby home after a throw past third base in the fourth inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

The Santa Fe softball team started off slow on offense in its Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday night in Alachua.

But it didn’t take long for the Raiders to finish strong.

College of Central Florida signee Amy Crosby drove in three runs and sophomore Sarah Burns tossed a four-hit shutout as the No. 2 seed Raiders defeated No. 6 seed Trinity Prep (Winter Park), 8-0, at Loretta Shane Field.

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Santa Fe's Sarah Burns tossed a four-hit 8-0 shutout against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Sarah Burns tossed a four-hit 8-0 shutout against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.

“It took us a little while to get started but once we got started on the offensive side things started clicking,” said Santa Fe coach Gene Findley. “Our defense out of the gate has been doing really well. They’ve been doing their job for the last few games, which helps the pitcher out.”

Burns was in control from the beginning for the Raiders (23-4). She retired the first eight batters she faced, including four of her nine strikeouts.

The Saints (17-7) loaded the bases in the third inning with two outs but Burns (7 IP, 0R, 4H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 9K) finished the inning with a strikeout.

“She pitched well,” Findley said. “She kept her pitch count down for a lot of innings. We had one inning where it got up there a little bit but other than that she kept it in a really good zone. She shouldn’t be sore after this game.”

Crosby, who is the team’s only senior, gave Santa Fe the only run it would need with a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the third inning for a 1-0 lead off Saints’ sophomore Mckenna Hawley.

“Oh my gosh it was my favorite pitch ever,” Crosby said with a smile. “It was a rise ball inside. That’s my favorite pitch…my first at bat I struck out. I was probably overthinking it a little bit, but I was looking for that rise ball pitch and in my second at bat I got a hold of it.”

Santa Fe's Maren Hornsby catches an out in the first inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Maren Hornsby catches an out in the first inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.

Maren Hornsby led off the fourth with a bunt single and advanced from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior J’lyn Guyden. She scored when the ball got past third baseman Naomi Tanielian for an error.

“She’s fun to get on the bases because she is very fast and very aggressive,” Findley said of Hornsby. “As long as you keep her rolling, she won’t stop.”

Junior Gracie Mattson (1-for-3, HR, RS, 2 RBI) added a two-run home run to right field in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 4-0.

“She’s a player,” Findley said. “She definitely gives 100% when she comes out here.”

Santa Fe put it out of reach with a four-run sixth inning.

Guyden led off with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Montana Moen.

Right fielder Breleigh Ford (2-for-3, 2 RS) singled, but an error by the center fielder allowed courtesy runner Aubrey Mattson to score.

Crosby (2-for-4, HR, DBL, RS, 3 RBI) then added a two-run double to right center field as Santa Fe finished the night with eight runs on nine hits.

“She had a good night,” Findley said of Crosby. “She’s very aggressive on the bases but tonight was her night at the plate with the RBIs.”

Ford also made a couple of running catches in right field as Santa Fe played error-free ball all night.

The Raiders will travel to top seed Montverde Academy on Friday night for the regional final. The winner will advance to next week’s final four at Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont.

Santa Fe's Gracie Mattson (right in helmet) gets congratulated by her teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Gracie Mattson (right in helmet) gets congratulated by her teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the fifth inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 on Tuesday.

Santa Fe is seeking its first trip to the state tournament since 2015 and its first state title in program history.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but I think right now we’re ready to challenge anybody out there,” Findley said. “It’s been quite some time (last final four). It’s huge. We’ve gone one game further than we did the last few years. We’re going to the third round in regional play so that’s a big deal for us.”

Santa Fe's J'lyn Guiden slides safely to second base after hitting a double against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s J’lyn Guiden slides safely to second base after hitting a double against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.

FHSAA Softball – Scores

Tuesday, May 14

Class 1A-Region 3 Final

1 Branford 1, 2 Fort White 0 – Bucs (23-6) advance to next Friday’s 1A state semifinals in Clermont

Class 1A-Region 4 Final

1 Trenton 3, 2 Williston 1 – Tigers (21-2) advance to next Friday’s 1A state semifinals in Clermont

Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal

2 Santa Fe (Alachua) 8, 6 Trinity Prep (Winter Park) 0

Class 5A-Region 1 Semifinal

4 GHS 6, 1 Middleburg 0

Santa Fe's Amy Crosby (14) hit a third inning home run for a 1-0 lead against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Amy Crosby (14) hit a third-inning home run for a 1-0 lead against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Santa Fe's Montana Moen stretches for an out at first base in the fifth inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Santa Fe’s Montana Moen stretches for an out at first base in the fifth inning against Trinity Prep (Winter Park) in the Class 3A-Region 2 Semifinal on Tuesday.

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