Softball: Palm Beach Gardens rallies to top Park Vista
Friday, February 15, 2013
by Jeff Greer
Palm Beach Gardens softball coach Randy Jackson crossed the diamond and shook Park Vista coach Chuck Layman's hand Friday night.
"We're in the same boat," Jackson said to Layman.
A more fitting comment couldn't be made after third-ranked Gardens bested fourth-ranked Park Vista 8-7 in a back-and-forth sloppy affair on a wet Friday night in Palm Beach Gardens.
The inexperienced pitchers on both sides struggled, as did the young players in key positions for both teams, but it was Gardens' most experienced player who came through in a pinch.
Ta'Coia Williams' booming double off the center-field fence scored three runs and completed Gardens' rally back from a 7-1 deficit. It was a major moment for Jackson's team -- seeing Williams get a big hit -- after appearing tense for much of the game.
"It was a matter of time (for Williams)," Jackson said. "She's a great athlete and a great player. She's going to come up with plays like that."
For Park Vista (2-2), it felt like deja vu. The Cobras dropped their first game of the season to Miami-Westminster Christian earlier this week in similar fashion.
Vista jumped out to leads of 6-1 and 7-2 on Friday, helped by Gardens miscues but also fueled by catcher Emily Lochten (2 for 2, two runs) and some timely hitting.
"We can score runs, we can hit," Layman said. "We need to keep hitting. We missed some opportunities. This team is young in places and we show it sometimes. But it's only the fourth game of the season. They'll grow."
Palm Beach Gardens (3-1) kept chipping away, getting a run in the third, two in the fourth and four in the fifth. The win gave the Gators their second big victory this week, three days after their impressive 7-3 extra-innings win at second-ranked Jupiter.
No. 2 Jupiter 10, No. 10 Boca Raton 1: Savanna Stone was 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs to lead the Warriors (3-1) to the rout of the Bobcats in Jupiter.
Wellington Christian 15, Merritt Island Christian 5 (5): Cali Gumpel was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and four runs scored and Tiffany Pettet added a triple and four runs as the Eagles (2-0) routed the Cougars (0-1) in Wellington.
No. 9 Royal Palm Beach 3, No. 6 Wellington 1: Bryant Miranda went 2-for 3 and Kevin Cordero also went 2-for-3 with two RBIs as the Wildcats (1-1) defeated the Wolverines (1-1) in Royal Palm Beach.