SOFTBALL: Fort Myers continues to have Charlotte’s number

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

Charlotte starting pitcher Tiffany Dodson (42) faces Fort Myers during the first inning Friday at Charlotte High School (Sun Photo by Tom O’Neill).

PUNTA GORDA — The Green Wave certainly have the Tarpons’ number.

And it now has complete control of District 7A-11.

Fort Myers scored 10 runs in the first two innings — with four aided by two errors — and went on to defeat Charlotte 13-2 Friday night. The Green Wave swept the season series with its eighth straight win over the Tarpons.
Charlotte committed four errors, two of which came to begin the first and second innings that put it in too deep of a hole to escape.

“You take away the first two innings it’s a 3-2 ball game, which is what it should be,” Charlotte coach Greg Higgins said. “Wow…that’s one of those things where you sit there and go, ‘what else could go wrong?’”

Fort Myers entered the night ranked No. 1 in Class 7A and eighth overall in the Florida in the latest state poll by Miracle Sports, certainly looking like a team deserving of those ranks. The victory now gives the Green Wave a two-game lead over both Charlotte and North Port in the district standings with just two district games left.

“Any time you can take charge and control of the district you always want to do it. You don’t want to wait around and see how the dice is going to fall out,” Fort Myers coach Johnny Manetta said. “We came out tonight focused. We knew that if we won this game it was going to be real hard for anybody to catch us for the No. 1 seed.”

Fort Myers starter Vivian Ponn shut down the Tarpons most of the night, giving up just one earned run on five hits with four strikeouts in a complete-game performance. Ponn also went 4 for 5 at the plate, driving in a run and scoring three times.

Charlotte starting pitcher Tiffany Dodson, on the other hand, only lasted two-thirds of an inning, getting knocked for six runs — three earned — on six hits. Julie Dedrick relieved Dodson and threw the rest of the way, giving up four earned runs on seven hits.

Hannah Gormly led the Green Wave offense with four RBI, which included a bases-clearing triple in the first inning that put her squad up 4-0. Ponn also had a RBI to start the game to score Jessica Wilson, who led off the night reaching on an error.

Maria Angelino followed with an RBI double and Aliana Consolazio hit an RBI single to put Fort Myers up 6-0, ending Dodson’s night.

Avery Perkins reached base on an error to start the second and later scored on a double steal with Ponn, who eventually scored on Charlotte’s third error. An RBI double by Riley Topliff and an RBI ground out by Gormly extended Fort Myers’ lead to 10-0.

“It was one of those games where they just flat out showed up,” Higgins said. “I told the girls last night, ‘you know what is going to win the game? Attitude.’ We didn’t have that attitude. We didn’t have that attitude tonight at all. They showed up very hungry. My hats off to them.”

Charlotte’s only runs came when Marissa Stack scored on an error in the third and when Kaylee Brannon delivered an RBI single in the fifth.

The Green Wave took an 11-2 lead in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Riley Ludlam before finishing off the offensive barrage in the seventh on a two-run double by Perkins, who finished 2-for-4.

Fort Myers 640 001 2 — 13 13 1
Charlotte 001 010 0 — 2 5 2
WP: Vivian Ponn; LP: Tiffany Dodson. Leading hitters: (FM) Hannah Gormly 1-4, 4 RBI, R; Avery Perkins 2-4, 2 RBI, R; Vivian Ponn 4-5, RBI, 3 R; (CH) Kaylee Brannon 1-4, RBI; Marissa Stack 2-3, 2 R.

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