Wellington High Girls Softball Squad Looking To Make History

Wellington High School softball seniors (L-R) Kaitlyn Campbell, Jordan White and Kylie McCann.

Wellington High School’s girls varsity softball team has had a strong season thus far with the postseason district tournament now underway.

Under the direction of head coach Mark Boretti, the Wolverines had an impressive regular season, finishing with a 15-2-1 record. According to Boretti, his team has all the necessary ingredients for a deep postseason run and a possible berth in the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 7A state finals, which will be held at the Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont on May 26-27.

“It has been a good season,” Boretti said. “We’ve had strong pitching this year, timely hitting and a strong defense. This team also has strong senior leadership on the roster.”

Now that the postseason is underway, the first order of business for Wellington is to win the Class 7A, District 12 tournament. On Tuesday, May 2, Wellington defeated crosstown rival Palm Beach Central High School, 13-0, in the tournament semifinals. That set up a rematch against longtime nemesis Jupiter High School in the District 12 tournament final, which was held on the evening of Thursday, May 4 at Palm Beach Gardens High School. The results were not available at press time.

That game was a rematch of the regular season encounter on April 6, when Wellington defeated Jupiter, 6-5, in nine innings. The winner of the District 12 final will receive an automatic bid to the FHSAA’s Class 7A state tournament, which begins on Thursday, May 11. But, according to Boretti, he fully expects both Wellington and Jupiter to be playing in the state tournament, since both teams have strong regular season records and high rankings, which are used to determine at-large bids. There’s also a strong chance that Wellington and Jupiter will meet again in the regional final on Friday, May 19.

“We want to win the district tournament, so we are guaranteed to play all three regional games at home and not have to travel,” Boretti said.

With three Class 7A regional round victories, Wellington would then qualify for the FHSAA’s Class 7A state final four.

Two of the keys to victory for Wellington will be how the team’s two top pitchers perform inside the circle. They are senior co-captain Jordan White and sophomore Victoria Payne. White’s earned run average is an impressive 1.74, while Payne is right behind her at 2.09. “Jordan has had great command of her pitches this season and has been able to spot the ball well. She has four pitches she can throw,” Boretti said. “Victoria has good velocity on her pitches. Mentally, she’s like a bulldog out there inside the circle. We like to start with Jordan and have Victoria finish the game.”

Boretti was also quick to praise the efforts of his three senior starters — all of whom are co-captains — who have led by example this season and continue to do so.

“Seniors Jordan White, Kaitlyn Campbell and Kylie McCann have provided great leadership for the team throughout the season,” Boretti said.

In addition to her pitching prowess, White is leading by example with the bat. She is leading the team in home runs (4), hits (24), RBIs (24) and batting average (.480). Campbell is leading the team in stolen bases (12) and runs scored (23). McCann, who plays either shortstop or second base, is one of the team’s top defensive players with a fielding percentage of .974.

That senior leadership will be necessary on and off the field in order for Wellington to reach the FHSAA’s Class 7A state final four in Clermont in late May. If that happens, it will be Wellington’s third trip to the FHSAA’s softball final four in school history, following in the footsteps of the 2011 team that lost in the state semifinals and the 2017 team that lost in the final that year.