Keystone can’t finish it off in 8-6 district semifinal loss
BY CLIFF SMELLEY
Third seed Keystone Heights was seemingly in good position to pull the upset, but second seed Santa Fe survived being down to its last out twice, with a three-run homer by Sydney Walker in the bottom of the 10th giving the Raiders an 8-6 win over the Indians in the semifinals of the District 5-4A softball tournament on April 17 in Starke.
The Indians (15-10-1) held a 4-0 lead at one point, following a two-run home run by Tylyn Davis in the top of the third, and were up 5-2 after Bailey Story hit a solo homer in the seventh.
Santa Fe’s Natalie Reveille hit a solo homer herself in the bottom half of the seventh. Then, with two outs, Shelbee Blackburn hit a two-run home run to tie the game and force extra innings.
Davis hit her second homer of the game to put Keystone up 6-5 in the top of the 10th. However, after pitcher Megan Moncrief retired the first two batters in the bottom half of the inning, the Raiders put two on before Walker—who was 0-for-4 in her previous at-bats—drove the first pitch she saw over the fence.
Davis finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI, while Cheyenne Helton was 3-for-4. The two batters had all but one of Keystone’s hits as the Indians struggled against Santa Fe pitcher Ashtin Strickland, who struck out 24.
Keystone starting pitcher Brittany Schellpeper gave up just two runs off of four hits before being replaced after giving up a two-run home run in the fourth with no outs.
Megan Moncrief gave up six runs, but did strike out 12 in 5.2 innings.
Santa Fe will play Bradford—a 13-9 winner over P.K. Yonge—for the championship Saturday, April 18, at 4 p.m.