Viera-Suntree Little League softball team has summer to remember

8-10 All-Stars win two games at state tournament


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Members of the Viera-Suntree Little 8-10 All-Star softball team pose with the Section 2 championship banner. That win put the VSLL into the state tournament this past weekend at Tampa where it won two games.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

The Viera-Suntree Little League 8-10 All-Star softball team enjoyed a wonderful run this summer that led to a spot in the state tournament.

However, after winning its first two games in Tampa, the VSLL’s season came to an end in the final game of play in Pool A when eventual state champion Windermere came away with a 4-3 victory.

Although the VSLL had obviously hoped to raise one more championship banner, the loss to Windermere shouldn’t take away from the players and coaches accomplished.

After winning the District 2 and section championships in dominating fashion, the VSLL faced Fort Lauderdale in the opening round of pool play in Tampa and came away with a 15-0, three-inning victory.

Ella Brand had three hits and drove in two runs to lead the VSLL. Taylor Holtz had two hits and a team-high three RBIs. Madi Rider also had two of the VSLL’s 11 hits.

Meanwhile, Riley Makousky did not allow a hit in her three innings on the mound for the VSLL and recorded eight of her nine outs by strikeout.

The game was largely decided in the second inning when the VSLL scored nine runs to open up a 13-0 lead.

In the second game of pool play, the VSLL threw its second no-hitter of the tournament and scored in five of the six innings played – including six runs in the sixth – to defeat Naples 14-0.

Kendall Mix had two hits and two RBIs to pace the VSLL in that one. Makousky and Maddey Cruse also had two hits each. Kaitlyn Farinhas and Shae Janke each drove in a run.

On the mound, it was Janke throwing four scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts to lead the way with a little relief help from Rider, who struck out three.

Those two wins put the VSLL into what was essentially the championship game of Pool A against Windermere.

The VSLL took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth, but Windermere would score three runs in the inning on its way to the 4-3 victory.

Makousky, who would strike out nine batters over five innings, was also the leader at the plate. She had two of the VSLL’s four hits, while Windermere managed just three hits in the game.

Holtz had a hit and an RBI for the VSLL. Rider also had a hit. Farinhas, Cruse and Autumn Reynolds all walked once.

The VSLL also got contributions – in the tournament and throughout All-Star play – from Ava Teply, Erin Fitzgerald, Erin Lynch, Madison Carter and Zoe Allen.

Manager Josh Allen lauded the family atmosphere on this year’s All-Star team.

“This season was so special and it wasn’t because of the district banner we won, or the sectional banner we won,” he wrote in an email. “It had to do with these girls. These girls are so special.

“They’re not just teammates. They’re friends and they love each other. The giggles, cheers, whispers, teasing, hugs, and then the tears all made for memories and bonds that will hopefully last a lifetime.

“We’ll be back and will hopefully be stronger and tighter than ever. Until next year...”