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Tornadoes defeat P.K. Yonge to win District 5-4A title

Lainie Rodgers (foreground) and Jordan Davis celebrate following the game.

Lainie Rodgers (foreground) and Jordan Davis celebrate following the game.


BY CLIFF SMELLEY

Staff Writer

Mackenzie Gault capped a three-hit night with a single that scored what would prove to be the winning run in the Bradford High School softball team’s 2-1 win over P.K. Yonge in the District 5-4A championship game on April 17 in Alachua.

It was the second straight district championship for the Tornadoes (18-7), who will now host District 6 runner-up South Sumter in a regional quarterfinal game on Wednesday, April 23, at 7 p.m.

Bradford had lost its previous two matchups with P.K. Yonge by one run each.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” pitcher Ashton Adkins said. “It’s amazing just knowing that we’ve struggled with them the past two times. This win meant so much to me and my team. It’s just tremendous.”

The Tornadoes had three hits entering the top of the seventh, but lead-off batter Annie Luke hit a single, while a throwing error on Jaci Atkinson’s ground ball to the shortstop gave Bradford two on with no outs. After P.K. Yonge recorded the inning’s first out, Lindsey Wiggins hit a hard single up the middle to score courtesy runner Taylor Crawford and tie the score at 1-1.

Gault, who doubled in her two previous at-bats, followed with another single that scored Atkinson.

“I didn’t hit it where I wanted it, but, hey, a single will work for me,” said Gault.

Adkins gave up seven hits and five walks, but pitched the Tornadoes out of several jams. P.K. Yonge (21-3) loaded the bases twice, but failed to score in each instance, and also had innings where it failed to score when it had runners in scoring position with one out.

Of Adkins’ 10 strikeouts, five ended innings.

“We always say it’s one versus nine—nine players against that one batter,” Gault said, “but (Adkins) really held us in this game. She worked her heart out. She pitched great.”

Mackenzie Gault on second base after her game-opening double.

Mackenzie Gault on second base after her game-opening double.


Catcher Annie Luke looks toward head coach Daniel Davis for a call.

Catcher Annie Luke looks toward head coach Daniel Davis for a call.

Lainie Rodgers makes a throw from center field.

Lainie Rodgers makes a throw from center field.

The Bradford High School softball team poses with the District 5-4A championship trophy.

The Bradford High School softball team poses with the District 5-4A championship trophy.

Sabina Watson prepares to catch a fly ball for the game’s final out.

Sabina Watson prepares to catch a fly ball for the game’s final out.

Lindsey Wiggins awaits an opportunity to advance to third.

Lindsey Wiggins awaits an opportunity to advance to third.

Taylor Crawford sprints toward third base.

Taylor Crawford sprints toward third base.

Kaylen Chitty waits on first for a chance to move to second.

Kaylen Chitty waits on first for a chance to move to second.

Jaci Atkinson awaits a pitch.

Jaci Atkinson awaits a pitch.

Ashton Adkins prepares to deliver a pitch.

Ashton Adkins prepares to deliver a pitch.

Lindsey Wiggins slides into third.

Lindsey Wiggins slides into third.

Shortstop Jordan Davis

Shortstop Jordan Davis

Second baseman Mackenzie Gault

Second baseman Mackenzie Gault

Center fielder Lainie Rodgers

Center fielder Lainie Rodgers

Left fielder Sabina Watson

Left fielder Sabina Watson

First baseman Lindsey Wiggins

First baseman Lindsey Wiggins

Right fielder Jaci Atkinson

Right fielder Jaci Atkinson

Third baseman Taylor Cruce

Third baseman Taylor Cruce

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