Flynn’s triple sends Pan­thers to fi­nal

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - By Carl Ko­tala Cor­re­spon­dent

VERO BEACH — It was one of those game-de­cid­ing mo­ments, and Amanda Flynn was feel­ing a lit­tle stressed. But the Coral Springs Char­ter se­nior was also feel­ing some­thing else: Deter­mined. “I wanted to be the one that broke open the doors,” Flynn said. “I didn’twant this to bemy last game. That’s not how I wanted to end ev­ery­thing. I wanted to take it. I found a way, and I did it.” Oh yes, she did. Flynn’s two-run triple in the bot­tom of the fifth in­ning erased a 1-0 deficit and helped pro­pel the Pan­thers to a 3-1vic­tory over Wal­ton Fri­day morn­ing in the Class 5A state semi­fi­nals at His­toric Dodger­town.

Coral Springs Char­ter will play for its third straight state cham­pi­onship Satur­day at 10:05 a.m. against Eustis, which beat Hardee 9-5 in Fri­day’s other state semi­fi­nal.

Se­nior pitcher Al­lyMuraskin was dom­i­nant once again for the Pan­thers, strik­ing out 14 while giv­ing up four hits. Wal­ton’s lone run came in the top of the fourth in­ning fol­low­ing a throw­ing er­ror.

Wal­ton would pres­sure on CSC in both of its fi­nal at-bats, but Muraskin and the Pan­thers de­fense came up when it had to.

The game, mean­while, turned in the fifth in­ning with the Pan­thers down 1-0 and hav­ing left a run­ner stranded at third an in­ning ear­lier.

Ta­tianna Luersen sin­gled. Kiara Meikle came up to the plate to bunt her over, but was walked in­stead. That brought up Flynn.“Amanda’s been on fire all sea­son,” Muraskin said. “I knew she was go­ing to come up big for us.”

Fol­low­ing Flynn’s triple, which came on an in­side changeup she was ale to in­sid­e­out down the first base­line. It also touched off a huge cel­e­bra­tion in the CSC dugout.

“My catcher (Gianna Boccagno), af­ter Amanda had that base hit, we ran to each other from the other end of the dugout, gave each other a huge hug and said, ‘it’s not our last game yet.’ ”

A sac­ri­fice fly by Christina Ar­cos would score Flynn with the third run.

Asshe­was about to throwthe fi­nal pitch of the game, Muraskin took a mo­ment to step be­hind the mound, sift a lit­tle dirt and col­lect her thoughts … right be­fore end­ing the game with an­other strike­out.

“Iwas just re­play­ing that hug we gave each other, and [think­ing] how I didn’t want it to end yet,” Muraskin said.“ThenIwas like, ‘Onemore pitch and then 21 more outs.”

CARL KO­TALA/COURTESY

Amanda Flynn beats out the throw at first base dur­ing Coral Springs Char­ter’s 3-1 win in the Class 5A soft­ball semi­fi­nal.

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