Heritage win away from repeating as champs
VERO BEACH — American Heritage got some solid pitching from Julia Grobman and Olivia Saviskas on Friday.
The Patriots got some big hits too from Sydney Grobman, Jordyn Griffith and Brooke Langston.
But perhaps the biggest reasons why American Heritage is on the brink of back-to-back state titles is because of the pressure the Plantation team put on Ponte Vedra’s defense during Friday’s 11-3 win in the Florida Class 6A softball semifinals at Historic Dodgertown.
The Patriots (25-3) will face Land O’Lakes for the state championship Saturday at 12:35 p.m. Land O’Lakes defeated North Fort Myers 2-0 in Friday’s other 6A semifinal.
American Heritage, looking for its eighth state title under coach Marty Cooper, will no doubt use the same kind of aggressive base running that worked so well Friday when Ponte Vedra committed six errors.
“We try to play a really fast style,” Cooper said. “We practice running the bases all the time. We try to create confusion. I’ve always believed it’s not the team that hits the best, it’s the team that makes the most mistakes that loses.
“We try to force mistakes, and fortunately today it worked out.”
Thatwas never more evident than the third inning when the Patriots scored seven runs on three hits and five errors.
Sydney Grobman had an RBI single in the inning and after getting out in her next couple of at-bats, made some adjustments and came back at Ponte Vedra with a two-run double.
“I was rolling over and pulling the ball, so I just had to go to the right side,” Grobman said. “That’s what we focused on this year, trying to take the ball the other way. I think that helps us a lot, especially when the pitches aren’t as fast aswe’re used to.”
Grobman would finish the day 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Griffith also had two hits and drove in two.
Langston had a scored twice and also two runs.
Hannah Sipos had a double and scored twice. Fellow junior Marisa Soterakis added an RBI double. double, drove in
After taking a 8-0 lead, the Patriots saw Ponte Vedra score three times in the fifth inning, prompting Cooper to replace starting pitcher Julia Grobman with sophomore left-hander Amelia Saviskas to help close things out.
“It was nice change of pace because Julia throws pretty hard,” Cooper said. “She throws like 62-64 miles-an-hour. Then the lefty came in and she’s a little more off-speed andwe got them off balance.”
Now the Patriots are a win away from another state title.
“We’ve worked really, really hard this year,” Sydney Grobman said.
“I think this is the most wellrounded team we’ve ever had and we’re all working together andwe’re more as a family than we’ve ever been.”