AATL tops Land O’ Lakes in postseason tune-up

Two of the state’s top softball players matched up for the final time against one another in high school uniforms when Academy at the Lakes hosted Land O’ Lakes in a recent non-district game at Starkey Ranch District Park.

Starting pitcher from the Academy at the Lakes, senior Lexi Kilfoyl, on the mound before the start of the game against Land O’ Lakes High School. (Christine Holtzman)

In the latest matchup between crosstown foes, the Wildcats and senior ace pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl bested the Gators and their senior star pitcher, Callie Turner, en route to a 10-2 victory on April 24.

Kilfoyl struck out 14 batters on her way to a one-hit complete game, allowing four walks and two unearned runs.

It marked a confidence-boosting performance for the 2018 Gatorade State Player of the Year and University of Alabama signee, who’s methodically battling back from a right shoulder ailment that’s plagued her since early March.

Land O’ Lakes High School starting pitcher, senior Callie Turner, winds up to throw a pitch in the first inning.

It also put the bow on a 13-7 regular season for the Class 2A defending state champs as they gear up for what is likely another lengthy postseason run.

Kilfoyl’s counterpart and fellow USA junior national team candidate didn’t fare as well, however.

Turner, the Class 6A Player of the Year, surrendered all 10 runs (seven earned) in six innings of action against the Wildcats’ balanced lineup. It was a rare off night for the University of Tennessee signee, who finished the regular season with a 1.76 earned run average and 158 strikeouts in 95.1 innings.

In spite of the late season defeat, the Gators, like Academy at the Lakes, are hoping for a deep playoff run since ending the regular season 20-5 overall and 9-1 in district play. Land O’ Lakes finished last season as the Class 6A state runner-up after falling to Plantation American Heritage in the state title game.

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) state softball championships begin May 8 and continue through May 24 for all classifications.

Published May 08, 2019

Academy at the Lakes’ athletic trainer Makenzie Brinker, right, examines the injuries of player Jessica Mott, who was hit by a pitch in the first inning.

Land O’ Lakes High School senior Shelby Westbrook up at bat in the third inning. Westbrook was walked to first.

Academy at the Lakes’ Coach Diane Stephenson gives a pep talk to batter Kacey Atkins during the second inning of the game.

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