East dominates, Jensen homers twice as Hawks roll in district semis


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Kaitlyn Jensen's launches a pitch over the left-field fence for a two-run home run during the first inning of Wednesday night's 11-0 victory over Heritage in the district semifinals.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Not even an hour-long lightning delay could derail the focus of the Viera High softball team Wednesday night.

Kiana East allowed just two hits while striking out eight and Kaitlyn Jensen went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs as the Hawks defeated Heritage 11-0 in the Class 7A, District 6 semifinals.

Viera (23-1) will face Harmony tonight at 7 in the district title game at Viera Regional Park.

Jensen, who hit a two-run homer before the rain delay and a solo shot afterward, now has 15 home runs on the season.

Kim Sugarman also hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the Hawks.

Haley Hinz had a triple and Taylor Jensen and Sydney Brooks each had a double, the latter just missing a home run by inches.

Viera was leading 6-0 in bottom of the second inning when an impending lightning storm forced the game to be delayed. The teams waited nearly an hour before returning to the field to warm up and then re-start the contest.

Given their lead, and the fact they were expected to win all along, it would have been easy for Viera players to let up.

But the Hawks were well aware of what could happen if they did.

“I just remember last year,” Kaitlyn Jensen said. “We were all talking about it. The same thing happened to us in the district finals. We were playing Melbourne. We had to have a long delay, and then we lost.

“So coming out and winning this game was big.”

Losing the district final last year meant the Hawks had to hit the road for the regional playoffs.

Should Viera win this year’s district title, it would mean the Hawks would open the regional playoffs at home.

This year’s team seems focused on making that happen.

“That’s one thing about them -- they’ve matured a lot and they’ve stayed focused,” Viera coach Dale Pierce said. “They went all the way to the regional finals last year, so hopefully they want to get to that next step this year.

“I think we can do it.”