VSLL 8-10 softball knocked out of state tournament


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The VSLL 8-10 All-Star softball team was hoping to add a state championship banner to its collection of district and regional titles. But unfortunately, the team fell just two steps short of its dream, losing in the state semifinals.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy Eric Power

It wasn’t the ending they were hoping for.

But for the players and coaches on the Viera-Suntree Little League 8-10 All-Star softball team there was still plenty to be proud of after the team came up just short of a return trip to the state championship game this weekend.

After edging past Callahan 7-6 on Tori Berry’s inside-the-park home run in the state opener, the VSLL returned to action Saturday and defeated Fort Myers 5-4 to improve to 2-0 in pool play.

That set up a game against Windermere to decide who would advance out of the pool to play for the state title and it was Windermere that came away with a 15-1 victory.

“We just had to play the best team in the semifinal to get to the final game and couldn’t get past them,” VSLL manager Eric Power wrote in an email.

Facing a Windermere pitcher Power said was the best in the tournament and known for throwing no-hitters, Viera-Suntree managed four hits and a run in the semifinal game. Haley Rider, Riley Makousky and Shae Janke all pitched for the VSLL.

In the earlier game, Viera-Suntree took a 3-1 lead into the top of the sixth and added to its advantage when Autumn Reynolds and Rider scored to make it 5-1.

Fort Myers would score three times in the bottom of the inning, but the VSLL would hold on. It was the second state tournament win for the 9-year-old Makousky, which can only bode well for her next season.

So while the VSLL 8-10 softball team may not have gotten back to the state championship game, going 7-1 during All-Star week – including 2-1 at the state tournament – is still quite a season.

Members of this year’s team included: Baylea Holland, Berry, Rider, Makousky, Hayley Power, Janke, Alexis Miller, Ella Brand, Reagan Calabro, Kiera Runske, Taylor Holtz, Kaitlyn Farinhas, Reynolds and Kendall Mix.