LYNN HAVEN — The timing couldn’t have been better for Laney Haynes.
Mosley’s leading hitter this season, Haynes hit her first home run of the year to complement Katie Lopes’ dominant pitching performance in a 2-0 win over Suwannee in the Region 1-5A quarterfinals on Thursday night.
The Dolphins (16-6) will host Wakulla — a 7-3 winner over Gulf Breeze in another regional quarterfinal Thursday — on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the regional semis.
Mosley scored an unearned run in the fourth inning when courtesy runner Mari Irving scored from second base following a hard-hit grounder by Graysen Gladden that resulted in a fielding error. Haynes, a sophomore, led off the fifth with a laser beam over the right-field wall to boost the Dolphins’ advantage to 2-0.
“I felt like it was a good time to have it happen,” said Haynes, who entered the game with a team-best .443 batting average. “Anybody could do it, though, because we have a strong hitting team. … I was just trying to remember my mechanics and put a good swing on it.”
Lopes, who struck out 13 Suwannee batters, said that second run was crucial.
“Two runs is a big difference compared to one,” she said.
Lopes cruised through the first six innings, allowing just two hits with 10 strikeouts. She gave up a leadoff single in the seventh to Blakely Burch, however, and a walk issued to Jordan Roberts put runners on first and second. Lopes, who gave a nod to the boisterous support from the home crowd, settled down and struck out the next three batters to end the game.
“The defense had my back and was helping me out, and the fans helped, too,” said Lopes, who struck out at least two batters in four of the final five innings. “I knew I had to step it up as a senior and be a leader.”
Roberts had seven home runs this season for the Bulldogs and has verbally committed to the University of Florida. Mosley coach Brian Wilke said he instructed Lopes to pitch around her. Roberts finished 0 for 2 with the lone walk.
“(Roberts) was not going to beat us tonight,” Wilke said. “They have a good team, but we took our chances with the other players. It worked out tonight.”
Haynes was 2 for 3 for the Dolphins, who left 10 runners stranded on base and left the bases loaded in the second inning. With the one exception in the fourth, Mosley largely was unable to capitalize on Suwannee’s five errors. The Dolphin defense turned in an error-free performance.
Gladden reached base three times (twice on walks) and stole three bases for Mosley. Kiana Yangson, Mackenzie Johnson and Kristin Hutto each had a single.
Haejin Choe, Kasey Frazier and Burch singled for the Bulldogs, who ended 17-11.
Wilke said he expects Wakulla to field a similar type of team when the two clubs meet in the regional semifinals.
“They have a couple of players I’ve seen in travel ball,” he said. “They have good pitching and good hitters, and their middle hitters are solid.”
Suwannee 000 000 0 — 0 3 5
Mosley 000 110 x — 2 5 0
Bryant (L), Choe (6) and Roberts; Lopes (W) and Irving.