Class 5A Softball: Auburndale Forced to Wait a Day
Mon. May 07, 2012 at 11:08 p.m. | By Mike Cobb
AUBURNDALE'S SOFTBALL TEAM will have to play twice today to try and win a state championship. (Photo by SCOTT WHEELER | THE LEDGER )
By MIKE COBB
CLERMONT | Auburndale's Class 5A state softball semifinal game was rained out Monday night, which means the Bloodhounds will have to win two today to win the state championship.
The Bloodhounds' semifinal game against Plantation American Heritage was rescheduled for 10 a.m., today, with the winner advancing to the Class 5A championship game tonight at 7 against Belleview, which defeated Ponte Vedra, 7-1, earlier Monday.
"That's just the way it is," Auburndale coach Mike Littles said. "We can't control the weather. We just have to come out and show up (today) under different circumstances."
Of course, today's schedule is pending the weather. The forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon and evening.
The rain hit Monday around 6 p.m., during the fifth inning of the Class 1A semifinal game between Lafayette and Union County with Lafayette leading, 5-4. That game would have had to be completed before Auburndale's game could start, and officials at 8 p.m., determined that the earliest that game could be restarted was around 10 p.m.
Auburndale came up to Clermont to watch Belleview's win over Ponte Vedra, then went to eat before returning to the field to warm up.
"We warmed up and we were ready to go," Littles said. "They (the players) were on the bus yelling, ‘We want to play' even though it's raining, it's lightning."
Having to play twice today while Belleview would only have to play once could be a disadvantage for whoever wins this morning's semifinal, Littles said.
"If you win, then you have to play a doubleheader," Littles said. "Now, your starting pitcher has to play 14 innings, or you have to bring another pitcher in.
"We tried to get a hold of the Bellview coach, but they weren't answering, to ask about playing our game (today) and the championship game on Wednesday," Littles said. "It didn't matter to us if it was on the championship field, but they (the FHSAA) didn't want to do that."
Freshman Brooke Hutto will pitch today for Auburndale. Hutto is 14-2 with a 2.21 ERA. She'll go against American Heritage's Aimee Chapdelaine, who is 19-4 with a 0.37 ERA.
Littles also said they were expecting a large crowd from Auburndale Monday night, including members of the football, baseball and soccer teams.
"That's the only disadvantage," Littles said. "The fans can't come back (in the morning). We were going to have a packed house (Monday night)."