Softball playoffs start tonight

A total of seven area teams in the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area are in action on Wednesday and Thursday in the FHSAA softball state playoffs. 

Keystone Heights, the No. 3 seed, will host No. 6 West Nassau (Callahan) in a Class 3A-Region 1 Quarterfinal on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

Last week the Indians won the 3A-District 3 title with a 12-2 win against Santa Fe (Alachua), which missed the playoffs this year. 

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The Indians (17-9) are batting .322 this year and are led at the plate by senior Emma Rogel (.471 batting average, 40 hits, 37 runs) and junior Kiley Channell (.412), who leads the team with 28 runs batted in (RBI). 

Sophomore Abbie Roach (.325) is second on the team with 26 RBI. 

Senior Madison Mitzel leads the team in the circle with 21 appearances and is 10-6 with a 2.16 earned run average. In 87.1 innings tossed Mitzel has only walked nine and has struck out 70 batters. 

The visiting Warriors (16-7) are ranked ninth in the state in Class 3A by MaxPreps. The winner will play either No. 2 Providence (Jacksonville) or No. 7 seed Marianna in Tuesday’s regional semifinals. 

Keystone won the first meeting, 1-0, on April 21 as Mitzel threw a complete game two-hitter. 

On Thursday, Gainesville High will host Milton in a Class 5A-Region 1 Quarterfinal. 

The No. 3 seed Hurricanes (12-13) defeated Vanguard (Ocala), 15-8, last Thursday to win the 5A-District 4. GHS, which finished with 16 hits, scored five runs in the top of the first inning. 

“Winning the district championship was a huge accomplishment for this team,” said Gainesville coach Chris Chronister. “We have gone through some ups and downs this season and it was great to get two big wins in the district tournament.” 

The Hurricanes are batting .295 as a team while the visiting Panthers (12-8) are batting .316 overall. 

Senior Parris Wiggs, a Mercer University signee, leads GHS in batting average (.469), hits (38), runs (34), RBI (26), triples (6) and home runs (2). 

“We are looking forward to our matchup with Milton on Thursday,” Chronister said. “It is always exciting to be playing in the playoffs at home.” 

The Class 1A playoffs are also on Thursday. 

Top seed Williston got upset in the 1A-District 8 championship game, falling 7-6 to No. 2 seed Taylor (Pierson). 

The Red Devils (18-7), who are ranked seventh in the state in 1A by MaxPreps, will travel to Taylor for a rematch. 

“This group of girls have really started to play for each other, not much selfishness and really starting to appreciate what they can have playing for each other,” said Williston coach Carl Williams. 

The Wildcats (13-5), who are ranked sixth in 1A, broke a 6-6 tie with a run in the seventh inning in last Thursday’s district title game. 

“I think the key to a victory is to play clean on defense and consistently hit the ball offensively,” Williams said. “They are chomping at the bits for another shot at this team.” 

Williston is led at the plate by junior Raegan Geiger (.506, 37 RBI, 10 doubles, 4 HRs), sophomore Nevaeh Hayes (.494, 31 RBI, 18 doubles, 4 HRs) and junior Cheyenne Boggs (.471, 23 RBI, 9 doubles). 

The winner of Thursday’s game will play either Dixie County (Cross City) or Trenton in Tuesday’s region final. 

Trenton, the defending 1A state champion, is the No. 4 seed in 1A-Region 4. The Tigers lost to the No. 1 seed Bears, 4-0, in last Thursday’s 1A-District championship game. 

Union County, the No. 3 seed in 1A-Region 3, will travel to No. 2 seed Madison County, who they lost to in last week’s district championship game. The winner will play either No. 1 seed Fort White, which won its first district title in school history last week, or No. 4 Lafayette (Mayo) next week. 

The first pitch for all regional games is at 7 p.m. 

Softball (Mainstreet coverage area teams in bold)

Regional Quarterfinals – Wednesday, May 11

Class 3A – No. 6 West Nassau (Callahan) at No. 3 Keystone Heights, 7 p.m.

 

Regional Quarterfinals – Thursday, May 12

Class 5A – No. 6 Milton at No. 3 Gainesville, 7 p.m.

 

Class 1A Regional Semifinals – Thursday, May 12

Region 3

No. 4 Lafayette (Mayo) at No. 1 Fort White, 7 p.m.

No. 3 Union County (Lake Butler) at No. 2 Madison County, 7 p.m.

 

Region 4

No. 4 Trenton at No. 1 Dixie County (Cross City), 7 p.m.

No. 3 Williston at No. 2 Taylor (Pierson), 7 p.m.

 

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