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North softball advancing in playoffs

May 10, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

While sitting out a lightning delay of over an hour, the North Fort Myers High School softball team seemed to fall flat waiting for the game to resume.

Thankfully, star pitcher MacKenzie Peterson came through as she usually does, hurling a four-hit shutout as the Red Knights took down Lely 4-0 in the first round of the Region 6A-3 championships at Bobbie Dewey Field on Wednesday.

North, which has yet to surrender a run in the postseason, advanced to the regional semi-finals, whihc were set for Tuesday, when it will travel to Barron Collier.

Article Photos

North Fort Myers junior Sajarie Jones, right, and teammate Natavia Ellis celebrate the Red Knights’ first run in their 4-0 win over Lely Wednesday night. To view more photos from the game, see our Facebook page.


North head coach Jeff Minor said his girls came out flat after the delay, but also credited Lely for hanging tough when it seemed they could have caved in the first inning.

"They came out and started hitting the ball and put pressure on us. We had the same opportunity to do the same thing Lely did," Minor said. "When you have to sit there for an hour, it's difficult getting back up."

Despite starting late after an afternoon deluge muddied up the infield, North (25-3) got off to a great start offensively with three runs in the first of Lely starter Sarah Leon.

Sajorie Jones singled, stole second and scored on Haley Weaver's RBI single. After Natavia Ellis singled, Summer Ackerson plated another on an error at second base. Peterson helped her cause moments later with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 3-0.

Ellis made it 4-0 in the second inning with an RBI single that scored Jones before the Trojans (14-14) settled down to shut out North the rest of the way as the offense atrophied and Lely relief pitcher Sivan Palacios dominated following the delay.

"We were doing really well up until the delay and we came out flat. We were lucky that we came out hitting," Ackerson said.

Peterson, who got out of a second and third jam in the third after the rain delay, wasn't really threatened after that.

The senior pitcher struck out six and walked just one.

"Coming out of rain delays isn't our favorite thing. We try to come out stronger but sometimes we don't. I felt my energy picked up after the delay, but the hitting was lacking," Peterson said.

Lely coach Rich Constante said it was a great game, but for the second straight game they just ended up on the short end.

"There isn't much I would change. We just didn't get the timely hit. MacKenzie is the best pitcher we've faced all year," Constante said. "We weren't as sharp in the beginning and they hit the ball well."



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