Lady Sharks win, head for playoffs


Ponte Vedra’s softball team heads into the district playoffs on the wings of last Thursday’s 4-2 victory over Creekside. The Lady Sharks will be facing tough competition in the playoffs from Clay and Orange Park – two teams with which they split the season series.

Michelle Holder, the Sharks’ freshman pitcher, earned her thirteenth win of the season in the Creekside win. She limited the Knights to no earned runs and just five hits while striking out three and issuing only two walks. Holder blanked the Knights for five innings before giving up a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning.

Ponte Vedra scored first in the third using Michelle Leone’s leadoff single to start the rally. Maddie Sypniewski was hit by a pitch and Claudia Cotto delivered Leone with a single to center.

The Sharks padded their lead in the sixth frame. Catcher Taylor Bradshaw started things with a leadoff, infield single. She moved up on Abby Zitello’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Elizabeth Fox’s solid double to center. Lauren Struble kept the line moving with an infield single and Leone’s bloop single to left plated Fox.

The Sharks added the fourth run of the inning when Quinlan Richmond earned a four-pitch walk and Sypniewski singled Struble home.

The Knights took advantage of three Shark errors to score twice in their half of the sixth but Holder retired the hosts in the seventh without further damage.

Earlier in the week the Sharks played at Atlantic Coast but weren’t able to mount any serious offense against the Sting Rays’ pitcher, losing 5-1.

Ponte Vedra gave up two early runs and was never able to recover until the seventh inning when they trailed 5-0.

The seventh inning started what appeared to be a come-from-behind rally when Struble singled, Leone walked and Richmond singled. After Sypniewski grounded out, Farley Callaghan reached on an error scoring Struble for Ponte Vedra’s only run. Two more groundouts ended the threat and the game.

A look at the Sharks season-ending batting statistics gives the Sharks some hope in the playoffs. The Sharks have six of the top 15 players in St Johns County according to the Florida Times-Union. Maddie Sypniewski leads the Sharks with a .493 batting average followed by Richmond with .471, Cotto with .457, Bradshaw with .403, Leone with .382 and Zitello with .364.