VSLL throws back-to-back no-hitters to beat Fort Pierce in sectionals

State tournament is up next for 8-10 softball team


Published:

Members of the Viera-Suntree Little League 8-10 softball All-Star team pose with the district and sectional championship banners after beating Fort Pierce twice to advance to the state tournament.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Combine dominant pitching with aggressive baserunning and it’s easy to see why the Viera-Suntree Little League 8-10 softball team is going to be a tough out at this week’s state tournament.

Shae Janke followed Riley Makousky’s mercy rule-shortened no-hitter by combining with Madison Rider on another no-no as the VSLL defeated a team from Fort Pierce 11-0 and 19-1 in the sectional tournament held at Crane Park.

Next up will be the state tournament, which will begin Friday in Tampa and will be hosted by the Keystone Little League.

“The pitching today was phenomenal,” VSLL coach Josh Allen said. “Outstanding baserunning, and our hitting is finally coming around. We’ve been kind of struggling at the plate, but the bats finally woke up today.”

Makousky struck out 11 and walked two in the first game as the VSLL rolled to victory.

Maddey Cruse went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Taylor Holtz had three of her team’s 18 stolen bases to lead the VSLL in that one. The VSLL broke the game open early with six runs in the first inning.

Makousky had a triple and drove in two runs. Janke also had two RBIs.

Game two saw Janke record five strikeouts in two innings, while Rider struck out two of the three batters she faced.

Holtz had three hits and Kaitlyn Farinhas drove in two runs.

The VSLL led 2-1 going into the third inning and broke the game open in a big way with 17 runs.

Erin Fitzgerald, Zoey Allen, Erin Lynch, Madison Carter, Cruse and Farinhas were among those who had RBIs in the inning. Cruse led the team with five stolen bases.

The VSLL also got strong performances throughout the day from Autumn Reynolds, Ava Teply, Ella Brand and Kendall Mix.

While that kind of aggressiveness on the bases will surely give opponents trouble, it’s the ability of Makousky, Janke and Rider that could help the VSLL go a long way at the state tournament.

“Going to states in the past (we know) you’ve got to have pitching,” Allen said. “You can’t go in with just one pitcher and expect to get the job done. You’ve got to get all of them working.

“Fortunately, in districts and sectionals, we were able to get that accomplished.”