The Land O’ Lakes 9- and 10-year-old Little League softball team won the state championship July 23, winning the final 12-1 against Fort Myers American.
The girls from the Central Pasco County program won all three games at states, improving their postseason record to 11-0. Land O’ Lakes put up at least 10 runs in four of the five games at the event and has outscored its opponents 90-27 during the postseason.
“We had strong pitching all weekend by (Callie) Turner, (Lexi) Kilfoyl, (Morgan) Boudreau and (Jenna) Gabrielli,” said coach Homer Kilfoyl. “Putting up double digit runs in four out of five games, everybody on the team came to hit this weekend.”
Homer said the victories were also a factor of doing the little things right, not just hitting the ball around the park.
“Aggressive and strong base running also contributed to the double-digit runs,” Homer said. “On defensive side, solid fielding with minimal errors held the opponents in check all weekend. Totally a great team effort and unwavering strong support from the parents.”
States started out with a bang for Land O’ Lakes, putting up 10 runs while giving up none to end the game by mercy rule after four innings.
Central Pasco had a doubleheader on Day 2 of the event, first defeating Eau Gallie 12-8 before beating Fort Myers American 11-7.
Land O’ Lakes squeaked by Niceville 2-1, but needed eight innings to do so. Regulation games are six. Turner started the contest, working the first seven frames before Lexi closed it out.
Central Pasco faced Fort Myers American in the finals. Lexi threw a complete game to help her squad record the 12-1 victory.
Land O’ Lakes advanced to the Southeast Regional Tournament in Luray, Va., where the local girls faced off against the champions from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia July 27 to 31. Results were not available by press time.
State championship roster
Gianna De Grace
Homer Kilfoyl, coach
Dan De Grace, assistant
Darin Kilfoyl, assistant
Land O’ Lakes postseason results
Districts 25 tournament at New Tampa
June 30 Dade City W 15-1
July 1 New Tampa W 1-0
July 3 New Tampa 3-2*
Section 4 tournament at Land O’ Lakes
July 13 Bloomingdale W 6-1
July 14 Buffalo Creek W 13-4
July 15 Plant City W 5-2
State tournament in Viera
July 20 Pinellas Park/Northeast W 10-0
July 21 Eau Gallie W 12-8
July 21 Fort Myers American W 11-7
July 22 Niceville W 2-1*
July 23 Fort Myers American W 12-1