SPRINGFIELD — Kayla Whitaker tossed a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts to lead Rutherford past Franklin County 6-0 in a prep softball game played at the Vera Shamplain Sports Complex on Thursday.
Paige Williamsen had two doubles and two RBIs and Abbie Barron added two singles for the Rams (3-1), who host Gulf Breeze today. Rutherford won the JV game 13-6. Alexis Connaster improved to 4-0 with the win and Taylor Leahy and Haley Thorson each had hits for the Rams’ JV.
Sneads 9, Bay 7
SNEADS — Emily Sowell was 4 for 4, Haley Melnik 2 for 4 and Ashley Beason, Sierra Kennedy and Angelica Mathes each had a hit for Bay. Sowell was the losing pitcher.
HolmesCounty7, Chipley 4
BONIFAY — Shelby Clark was 3 for 4 with one RBI to pace Holmes County. Jenna Sellers was the winning pitcher with eight strikeouts while giving up three hits for the Blue Devils (2-1, 2-1 District 2-1A), who host Bratt Northview today.
Niceville 5, Mosley 2
NICEVILLE — Zach Rhodes tied the game with a home run in the sixth, but Niceville broke through for three runs in the bottom of the frame to secure a District 2-6A win. Rhodes was 2 for 3 and added a double and Jordan Larry was 2 for 3 for Mosley. Austin Bizzle took the loss, giving up four hits, including two in the sixth. Joey Hair finished up for the Dolphins (4-1, 0-1 District 2-6A), who host Choctawhatchee today.
Rutherford 6, Bozeman 1
SAND HILLS — Nick Nelson was the winning pitcher for Rutherford, tossing four innings with five strikeouts and three walks while giving up one hit. Cody Roby pitched two innings and Andrew Mask cleaned up in the seventh for the Rams. Justin Bailey was 2 for 3 with an RBI and Nelson had a solo home run for Rutherford (3-1), which hosts Arnold on Tuesday.
HolmesCounty 6, Vernon 2
VERNON — Corey Wilson had a hit and an RBI, Chase Forehand was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI, Kole Forehand added a three-run home run and Ethan Merchant doubled for Holmes County. Kole Forehand pitched four innings with six strikeouts for the win and Jordan Worthing tossed the final three innings with five strikeouts. Holmes County (1-0) is at Walton today.
Bay 5-7, West Florida Tech 2-0
PENSACOLA — Bay’s girls swept Pensacola West Florida Tech 7-0, while the boys won 5-2. Both teams improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in District 1-2A with a home match on Tuesday against Mosley. Results, with Bay netters listed first:
Boys — Bay 5, WFT 2
Singles — No. 1: Matt Bruhn def. Tripp Custer 8-4, No. 2: Lucas Dykes def. Robert Vinson 6-3, 6-4, No. 3: Cory Joseph def. Caleb Ward 6-3, 6-2, No. 4: Christian Wilkins def. by Nick Burgosh 7-5, 7-5, No. 5: Zack Boone def. by Chris Bonano 6-2, 2-6, 10-8.
Doubles— No. 1: Bruhn-Dykes def. Custer-Vinson 6-3, 5-7, 10-6, No. 2: Joseph-Wilkins def. Burgosh-Bunano 6-2, 6-4.
Girls— Bay 7, WFT 0
Singles — No. 1: Chloe Harris def. Ashley Barham 6-1, 6-0, No. 2: Marley Peters def. Deanna Genung 6-0, 6-1, No. 3: Mary Higby def. Emily Shanahan 6-1, 6-0, No. 4: Elizabeth Allen def. Mary Tomlinson 6-1, 6-1, No. 5: Candace Blount def. Amy Murph 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles— No. 1: Harris-Peters def. Barham-Tomlinson 6-0, 6-0, No. 2: Higby-Allen def. Genung-Shanahan 6-1, 6-1
Port St. Joe 11, North Bay Haven 0
PORT ST. JOE — Port St. Joe shut out North Bay Haven (1-2). The Buccaneers play at Rutherford today at 6:30 p.m.
Daytona Beach Father Lopez 44, Miami Country Day 40
LAKELAND — Simone Brown hit four late free throws to lead Daytona Beach Father Lopez over Miami Country Day in the girls Class 3A state basketball championship Thursday night.
Brown’s first two free throws broke a 38-38 tie with 1:27 left. The final two gave Father Lopez (26-5) a four-point lead with 5 seconds remaining.
Miami Country Day (28-1) took a 22-18 halftime lead and extended it to seven points early in the third quarter on Channise Lewis’ 3-pointer. The Green Wave chipped at the deficit, however, and Brown’s basket with 2:59 left gave Father Lopez its first lead since the 5-minute mark of the first quarter.
Ashley Folsom led Father Lopez with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Brown had 17 points and seven rebounds.
Danielle Minott led Miami Country Day with 20 points and five steals but the Spartans shot 15 of 55 from the floor (27.3 percent).
TallahasseeFAMU 57, Land O’ Lakes Academy at the Lakes 34
LAKELAND — LaKaris Salter had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Tallahassee FAMU to a 57-34 victory over Land O’ Lakes Academy at the Lakes in the Florida Class 2A girls state basketball championship game Wednesday night.
It was the second straight title for the Baby Rattlers (25-4), who broke open the game by outscoring Academy at the Lakes 33-11 in the second and third periods.
Jasmine Jones, who added 17 points and 10 rebounds for FAMU, and Salter took over the game in the third period, combining for 13 points as the Baby Rattlers extended a 26-13 halftime lead to a 40-16 advantage midway through the quarter.
FAMU held a 45-29 rebounding advantage and forced the Wildcats (26-3) into 27-percent shooting (10 for 37) and 24 turnovers.
Tatiana Manuel led Academy at the Lakes with 11 points and five rebounds while Timecia Cohen added 10 points.
Choctawhatchee 55, Winter Haven 48
LAKELAND — Lauren Day delivered the game of her life. Brittany Brown delivered at the line. And Choctaw, shrouded in the hype accustomed to a 30-0 team, delivered yet again in the clutch.
Brown scored a game-high 26 points on a 12 for 14 effort at the charity stripe, Day poured in 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting and the undefeated, third-ranked Indians survived a down-to-the-wire tilt against Winter Haven, advancing to the state championship for the first time in school history with a 55-48 6A semifinal victory.
The Indians trailed 48-46 until Brown drove through the lane, leaned into Shantrice Solomon along the right baseline and banked in an and-1 bucket with 1 minute and 12 seconds to play. Brown would miss the free throw, just one of two misses in the final frame amid a 5 for 7 effort from the line, but the Indians forced a stop on the ensuing possession.
Day then converted in the post on a crisp, over-the-top feed from Brittany Washington, followed by a Shavonna Spaw steal. With Winter Haven forced to foul with 20 seconds left, putting Choctaw in the single bonus, Brown calmly stepped to the line, buried the 1-and-1 attempt and then swished the second to make it a two-possession game.
Forced to navigate Choctaw’s half-court press, the Blue Devils struggled to get a quick shot off. Fourteen seconds ticked off the clock until Khadijah Howell flashed open beyond the arc on the left wing, where she received the feed and swished the wide-open trey. But the nearby referee in front of Winter Haven’s bench blew his whistle, pointed to the sideline and signaled that Howell had stepped out of bounds, which a later replay validated.
Compounding the mistake was Winter Haven coach Johnnie Lawson, who immediately received a technical foul after voicing his frustration. Instead of being down a point with six seconds left and Choctaw – just in the single bonus – still having to inbound the ball, the Blue Devils watched as Brown went to the line, buried two technical free throws and for good measure drilled the front end of the 1-and-1 free throw to seal the victory.
— Seth Stringer