BY GENE NARDI
On Thursday, March 3, the Palm Beach Central High School varsity softball squad hosted John I. Leonard High School in a district match-up, and the Wildcats routed the Lancers 11-1 in front of a home crowd.
The Broncos (3-6) scored 11 unanswered runs after being down early in the top of the first inning to dominate the Lancers. Mikayla Person hit the RBI single that tied the Lancers and started the rout for Palm Beach Central. From there, the Broncos punched their ticket in every inning, bringing in runs.
A well-rounded performance by Palm Beach Central’s defense maintained the integrity of the lead. By the bottom of the third inning, the Broncos had a 5-1 lead.
Stellar batting at the plate kept the Bronco momentum going throughout the game. Kate Wolpert launched an RBI triple, and Brooke Stiles had an RBI double. Sophie Eisenberg later sent in a runner with a double driven out into deep center field. Palm Beach Central had the bases loaded three times during the contest.
John I. Leonard rallied in the top of the fourth inning, setting runners up on first and second, but a stingy Bronco infield denied any Lancer runs to close the margin.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Broncos added two more runs to extend the lead to 7-1. Wolpert had an RBI single, and Lexie Tipmore gave a solid performance at bat.
“We kept the bat on the ball and were aggressive with our running,” first-year head coach Karlie Young said.
The Lancers could not get anything going on offense, due in part to a stubborn Palm Beach Central defense. While the Bronco defense kept John I. Leonard off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game, their offense continued business as usual, racking up four more runs in the next innings to put the game out of reach for the Lancers, and closing out the 11-1 win after the sixth inning.
“Communication and knowing where the ball is going is what we always work on,” Young added.
Palm Beach Central had games this week against Jupiter and Pahokee high schools, but results were not available by press time.
ABOVE: Donella Romano slides in at the plate to add to the Broncos score.