Primavera, Rodriguez Keep Sharks Perfect
BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando Lady Leopards (5-4, 4-3 5A-7) put up a fight Tuesday night, but just like every other team Nature Coast has faced this season, they would fall. The visiting Lady Sharks (9-0, 7-0 5A-7) rode timely hits and a solid pitching performance to the tune of a 4-1 victory at Tom Varn Park.
Hernando jumped out in front in the bottom of the first inning when Kaylee Frascatore hit a two-out single, scoring Erika Lewis who doubled off the right field wall earlier.
The Leopards would hold the lead behind a strong effort from junior Kaylee Flaherty who worked in and out of trouble for four innings before things would catch up with her in the fifth.
Chyloe Gonzalez hit a one-out single, before Celine Kordon ripped a single, putting runners on second and third when Kordon advanced to second on a high throw to third base.
Hernando coach Kevin Bittinger had seen enough and decided to bring in hurler Lauren Moore to attempt to get out of the jam.
Moore, however, was greeted by the bat of Brittany Rodriguez who laced a single into center, scoring two and giving the Sharks a lead they would never relinquish.
“The momentum turned completely.” Rodriguez said of her single. “I was so happy. In the beginning of this game and this season I was so shaky. My confidence grew, I picked up my team and did it for them.”
The Sharks weren’t done scoring in the fifth, however, as sophomore catcher Abby Marshall would single into right field scoring Rodriguez giving the Sharks a 3-1 lead.
“After we got the runs, I told (Pitcher Abbey Primavera) let’s go.” Marshall said. “She had to keep her head up and do what she needed to.”
Primavera would answer the call from her backstop, throwing a complete game, striking out eight while only allowing the one run.
“The first inning is always shaky.” Primavera said. “We rebounded well, we are a good hitting team. Once we got the lead I felt a lot better, we have a great defense.”
The Lady Sharks knew they were coming into the contest with a target on their back, and the Leopards gave them every bit they had.
“We knew Hernando was our biggest rival last year.” Rodriguez said. “They are a good team we came out hard and strong and didn’t take them lightly at all.”
Nature Coast will have no time to soak in the win, as they put their perfect 9-0 record on the line at home Wednesday night against county-rival Springstead.
Hernando, meanwhile will look to rebound Friday, when they travel to Weeki Wachee high.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
NCT – 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 – 4 14 0
HER – 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 – 1 8 3
WP – Primavera (5-0)
LP – Flaherty (0-2)
2B – C. Gonzalez (NCT), Lewis (HER)
3B – Danielle Harvey (HER)
HR – None
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