Panthers score early and often to beat Sharks

Both lineups continue to heat up lately


It has been quite the run for the Nease Panthers and Ponte Vedra Sharks softball teams of late, as they have won their last four games and have done so by scoring runs, lots of them.

During the stretch, the Panthers (8-4) have won four in a row, which included defeating the rival Sharks 7-3 on March 26, which is one of the sweetest of the wins they have had and definitely had the most bragging rights on the line.

The Panthers did not hesitate to strike early and often against both the Sharks (9-6) and in the game following, a 19-0 romp of St. Augustine High on March 27.

They scored four runs against the Sharks and did not look back, even after the Sharks attempted to get a comeback going with three runs in the top of the sixth, however it proved to big of a hole to climb out of.

Seniors Corinna Cioffi and Taylor Burton continued their role as run-producers with a combined five RBIs against the Sharks, including three for Cioffi as she went three-for-four at the plate in the contest.

Freshman Sydney Davis also drove in a couple of runs thanks to a double.

When the Sharks were eventually able to string together some runs in the sixth inning, it was Drew Gardner, who went two-for-three with a double that led to two runs being scored.

Kristina Campbell picked up the win against the Sharks and Davis earned the save, while Davis followed it up by pitching a three-inning no-hitter as the game had reached a run rule at that point.

There has been no need for save opportunities in the games that have followed, but Davis continued to shine, this time as a starter as she no hit the Yellow Jackets and had a hit in all four times she came up to bat and did damage on just about every one of those occasions and finished with four RBIs in the 19-run win.

Then, the Panthers handled business against Atlantic Coast High, but this time did the damage late with an explosion of 11 runs in the top of the sixth to eventually put the game out of reach, 16-1 on April 1.

The Sharks have looked the part since their loss to the Panthers as well, as they defeated Glenwood out of Phenix City, Alabama, 4-3, on March 27 and then beat St. Augustine, 17-0, on March 28 and Sandalwood, 12-1, on April 1.

The Sharks have been racking up extra base hits with four doubles against the Yellow Jackets and three more against the Saints.

Aoife Weaver leads the Sharks with nine doubles on the season, while fellow sophomore Nadia Campbell is a terror on the basepaths and has the speed to turn any hit into the outfield gap into a triple and has done just that three times this season.

Nease Panthers, Ponte Vedra Sharks, softball