PORT CHARLOTTE — For much of the night, it wasn’t the same Cypress Lake softball team the Port Charlotte played Tuesday night, but in the end, it was the same result.
Seaaira Yiengst’s run-scoring single in the fifth broke a 2-2 tie, and the Pirates offense erupted to break the game open as Port Charlotte rallied for a 10-2 victory Friday in a District 6A-11 contest at the Pirates Cove.
For the Pirates, it was their third straight win after losing their first five. In those three wins, they scored 38 runs. Port Charlotte scored just nine runs in the five losses, partly due to several starters being injured.
Jaiden Dabney had two hits and two runs scored, Brittany Ferrentino drove in two and scored two, and Kalie Brethold, the ninth-place batter, had three hits.
“We’re putting the ball in play. We’re not necessarily getting big hits, but we’re putting pressure on their defense,” Port Charlotte coach Ryann Baker said. “It doesn’t matter where you’re hitting, and Kalie has worked hard in the cages and earning her spot back.”
Yiengst struck out nine and got a big pickoff in the sixth that shot a potential Panthers rally in the ear. She has seen a difference in the team since coming back from injury.
“We’re playing with more intensity and coming out swinging. You can’t hit if you don’t have confidence in the box,” Yiengst said. “We didn’t have confidence or energy before and we fixed that.”
With the game tied in the fifth, Dabney singled and went to second on an error. After Alyssa Allred walked, Yiengst singled in the tie-breaking run. Andi Suarez added another single later to make it 4-2.
Port Charlotte (3-5, 3-1) blew the game open in the sixth, scoring six times. Ferrentino, Allred, Brethold and Yiengst drove in runs.
Port Charlotte took advantage of an error to take the lead in the first. Dabney hit a fly ball the centerfielder couldn’t handle, scoring Ferrentino.
In the second, Cypress Lake (2-6, 0-4) committed two errors, with Ferrentino driving home a run on a fielder’s choice to make it 2-0.
But the Panthers, who lost 13-2 on Tuesday, hung tough. Pitcher Megan Lyman held the Pirates at bay and Cypress Lake tied the game in the fifth on Aracelly Peralta’s RBI double and a successful suicide squeeze by Rhianna Holton.
“You can’t give teams like this a glimmer of hope because they have nothing to lose. We have to win every district game we can and they’re a scrappy team,” Baker said. “Thankfully, we were able to come out on top.”
PORT CHARLOTTE 10, CYPRESS LAKE 2
Cypress Lake 000 020 0 — 2 6 6
Port Charlotte 110 026 x — 10 10 4
WP: Seaaira Yiengst (3-2) LP: Megan Lyman (2-6) Top hitters: (PC) Brittany Ferrentino (PC) 1-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Kalie Brethold 3-4, run, RBI; Jaiden Dabney; 2-4, 2 runs. Records: CL (2-6, 0-4), PC (3-5, 3-1).