By Don Trello
The Laker/Lutz News Correspondent
Carrollwood Day School (CDS) junior Amanda Rose pitched the first shutout of her high school career April 16 in the Class 3A-District 8 softball semifinals to lead her squad over Tampa Prep 9-0 and earn the program’s first playoff berth.
“Amanda was absolutely perfect today,” said Patriots first-year coach Chuck Fest. “She hit her spots. The whole team stepped it up a notch.”
CDS, which finished the regular season 8-0 in 3A-8 play, went on to beat event host Seffner Christian 2-1 April 18 for the district championship.
“Going undefeated in the district is obviously a big accomplishment,” Chuck said. “This is only the third year for the program.”
The Patriots (11-5) have only one senior on the 11-player roster, including two eighth-graders. Chuck said the pressure of going for their first playoff berth has not affected the young squad.
“We talk about it all the time,” Chuck replied. “We go out there as if it’s 0-0 every inning. We play every inning like it’s our last.”
Rose allowed two hits, struck out 10, walked one and retired 15 of the first 17 batters she faced.
“There was more motivation today because it was a district game,” said Rose (9-3). “I throw a screwball, change-up and split finger, but mostly fastballs. It was one of my better games. … My defense was great. We were all pretty pumped up. We just played our A game.”
CDS took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, which included base hits from Emma Frost, Savannah Bennett and Rose.
The Patriots added a run in the third, two more in the fourth and scored four times in the sixth.
“We are not a speed team; we are more of a power-hitting team,” Chuck said. “We have a lot of extra-base hits. We are an aggressive base-running team. … We have good hitters up and down the lineup. They feed off each other. They are all competitors.”
Samantha Fest, Frost and Bennett each had two hits. Samantha added three runs, while Frost crossed home plate twice.
Rose attended CDS growing up, but transferred to Steinbrenner her freshman year. She returned to the Patriots last season.
“I didn’t play softball at Steinbrenner,” Rose said. “I didn’t make the team my freshman year, and I didn’t tryout the next year. I wanted to focus on my studies.”
Rose indicated she felt right at home since returning to CDS.
“I played with most of my teammates in middle school,” Rose said. “I’m just really proud. We have improved so much since the beginning of the year.”
The Patriots host Lakeland Christian April 24 at 4 p.m. at Fest Field, 19548 Crescent Road in Odessa.
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