The Port St. Joe Lady Sharks celebrate their win over Wewa. [ Danny Itzkovitz | Contributed \
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Port St. Joe upsets Wewa in opener of district softball tourney

The sixth-seeded Port St. Joe Lady Tiger Sharks, with a record of 8-15, dealt an upset to the third-seeded Wewahitchka Lady Gators (12-11) in the opening round Monday of the District 4 tournament in Class 1A FHSAA girls softball.

Known as a satellite game, in that it was not played on the field of the district host, second-seeded Franklin County, which drew a bye in the opening round.

The Seahawks (15-10) now face Port St. Joe Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Eastpoint.

The top-seeded Liberty County (16-6) play the early game at 5 p.m. against the fifth-seeded Bozeman Lady Bucks, who beat up on the fourth-seeded Blountstown Lady Tigers (9-11) Monday night 20-4.

On Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. ET, the two winners from the Tuesday match-ups will square off at 7 p.m.

The Port St. Joe Lady Tiger Sharks plated two runs in the top of the first, and then one each in the second and third innings, giving them a four-run lead before the Lady Gators whittled it down to one by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third and one more in the fourth.

But the Lady Tiger Sharks came back hard by scoring runs in each of the next three innings, two in the fifth, five in the sixth and two in the seventh, to go up 13-3 with Wewa heading into their last at-bats in the seventh inning contest. Wewa managed to plate a run, but that was all, and the score stood at 13-4.

Sophomores Brooklyn Bishop and Christina Clayton combined to pitch a masterful game from the mound, giving up just two earned runs on seven hits, each striking out one and Bishop allowing just one walk.

Freshman Anniston Gainer blasted a pair of home runs, and Bishop one, to lead the attack, with Gainer responsible for three runs batted in on two hits.

Senior Addy Creekmore, sophomore Elli Newman, Bishop and Clayton each had two hits and two RBIs, while senior Maya Itzkovitz and junior Addy Silcox each had one hit and one RBI.

Junior Bri Fleming had two hits, including a double, and sophomore Trinity Farmer had one hit.

Port St. Joe Coach Melissa Walker has stepped down, center, with assistants Tanner Jones and Haley Jasinski handling coaching duties in the postseason. [ Bill Fauth | Contributed ]

The Lady Tiger Sharks were without head coach Melissa Walker. She had announced earlier she planned to step down at the end of the school year, but following Senior Night, she chose to leave early for personal reasons

Assistant coach Tanner Jones, the school’s athletic director, stepped in, along with assistant Halie Jasinski, a former Port St. Joe softball player and teacher on staff.

“She knows her Xs and Os,” said Superintendent Jim Norton. “These two people are ready to step up.”

Following an 8-6 win over Sneads April 9 at home, the Lady Tiger Sharks endured six consecutive losses before closing out their regular season April 23 at home with a 12-3 win over Altha.

On April 11 at home, Port St. Joe lost a tough 3-2 contest to Taylor County, and then fell 6-3 at Florida High April 12.

On April 16 against Holmes County, the girls spotted the Lady Blue Devils eight runs in the bottom of the first, and then fought back before losing 10-7.

Two days later at home, the Lady Tiger Sharks fell 12-1 to Marianna and then on April 18, lost 4-1 to Florida High, their lone run scored by junior Bri Fleming on a base hit by sophomore Christine Clayton. 

On April 22, at home against Liberty County, the team managed just three hits in a five-inning 12-0 loss. Clayton, senior Maya Itzkovitz and junior Addy Creekmore each got hits.

At home April 23, Clayton struck out five and gave up three earned runs on six hits as Port St. Joe closed out the season with the 12-3 win over Altha.

Wewahitchka won three of their eight games in April, as they opened the month with three road losses, at Chiles 15-7 April 2; at Wakulla 7-0 April 4; and at Holmes County 8-5 April 9.

The Lady Gators got back on the winning track with a 4-0 win in nine innings against Altha April 11, and with a 12-0 shutout of Rutherford at home April 12.

On April 16, Wewa was downed at Sneads 15-6, and then were shut out 3-0 at Marianna a week later.

As of April 10, Ashley Thompson was leading the team in hitting with a .327 average, Emma Rustin in homers with five, Alaina Green in on-base percentage with .474, Hope Thompson in stolen bases with 27, Savana Mayhann with runs batted in with 27, and Severa Haney with a 4.63 earned run average and a 5-3 record on the mound.

Franklin County, in its final two regular season games, were shut out 8-0 at Wakulla April 23, and finished April 25 at Florida High with a 9-6 win against the Lady Seminoles.

As of April 25, junior Michalyn O’Neal led the team with a .413 batting average, an .477 on base percentage, and a.720 slugging percentage. and 31 hits and 32 RBIs.

She and junior Sarah Ham and sophomore Lexi Webb each had four home runs. Ham leads with 19 stolen bases and 10 doubles, and Webb with a .991 fielding percentage.

Ham. whose record on the mound this season is also 15-10, has an ERA of 2.77 and has struck out 210 batters.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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