Wewahitchka pushed across two runs in the third inning for the only scores of the game as the Gators slipped past Franklin County on Thursday night, May 12, in a regional semi-final pitching contest.
With two outs and sophomore left fielder Savana Mayhann occupying third base, Coach Justin Smith called for Kylie Parker to lay down a bunt.
The senior center fielder responded with a perfectly placed ball that allowed Mayhann to touch home and Parker to reach first base safely, giving the Gators a 1-0 lead.
“I wasn’t hitting or seeing the ball that great, so I figured that they would (give the bunt sign). That usually gets me to see the ball better,” said Parker. “I wasn’t surprised at all” receiving the sign.
Parker followed those heroics by stealing second base, immediately racing to third when the ball skipped into the outfield.
Senior All-State pitcher Haley Guffey then gave herself and the Gators an insurance run when she hit a smash up the middle to drive in Parker for the second run of the inning.
Guffey and her defense made the lead stand. Although she fanned only seven Seahawks, she induced seven ground ball outs, six popups, and two soft line outs while surrendering a mere two hits.
Playing her position well, Guffey had one putout on a popup and three assists on ground ball outs.
Her freshman counterpart, Sarah Ham, also pitched well enough to win, allowing only three Gator hits for the game, two to Guffey.
“We were down on our hits, but we hit so well this week (in practice),” ” said Smith,
“That was a great game,” said Seahawk coach Scott Collins. “Sarah pitched a heck of a game, and so did Haley.”
“We’re starting four middle schoolers and three freshmen,” said Collins, who loses only senior center fielder Ariel Andrews to graduation. I feel really good about next year, and these kids are going to come of age one day. It’s about to be soon.”
Franklin County ended the season with a 12-11 record, while Wewa improved to 20-5, and will face district rival Liberty County for the regional crown.
The Bulldogs, who held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to the Gators on May 5 for the district title, crushed Sneads 20-5 Thursday night. The winner will advance to the Final Four, held in Clermont May 24-25.