By Pete Sisk, Sun Correspondent
NORTH FORT MYERS — The one thing Port Charlotte could least afford to do was give North Fort Myers a head start in their District 6A-11 softball semifinal Wednesday night.
“No, no, not at all,” Pirates coach Ryann Baker said. “Not ever. In the years I’ve been here, you can’t do that with that team. “
But that’s just what happened. The Red Knights scored six times in the first two innings on the way to an 8-0 victory.
“Rightfully so,” Baker said. “They deserved to win this game.”
North pitcher Mackenzie Peterson had six of her eight strikeouts in the first two innings, while the Red Knights were stringing
together two triples, two doubles, two singles and those six runs. North added single runs in the third and fourth innings.
“I just wanted them to play an aggressive game,” Baker said. “They’re number one in our district for a reason.
“We just came out flat. Going up there looking at third strikes. Mackenzie had quite a few strikeouts to begin with. Just flat.”
Natavia Ellis had a triple and a double in the first two innings for the Red Knights, who still haven’t lost a district game this season (13-0).
North Fort Myers coach Jeff Miner pulled Peterson from the mound after four innings, switching positions with starting first baseman Emma Johnson. The Pirates had their best chance against Johnson in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with two outs before Summer Ackerson made a sensational diving catch in left to rob pinch-hitter Katie Brethold of a hit and at least one RBI.
Seaaira Yiengst pitched the first two innings for Port Charlotte, with Alexis Queior working the last four.
Alyssa Allred made some solid plays in right field for the Pirates.
“That team made some nice plays defensively,” Miner said. “There were some balls smoked out there (to right). (Allred) made two or three plays going that way. pointing toward right-center.
“Last time we played them, we were only up 2-0 at their place. We came out to score five in the fifth or the seventh, but the score was not indicative of how close that game was.”
North Fort Myers will be at home tonight facing Mariner for the title. The Tritons got by Ida Baker 3-1 in the other semifinal.
N. FORT MYERS 8, PORT CHARLOTTE 0
Port Charlotte 000 000 0 — 0 5 0
North Fort Myers 241 100 x — 8 11 0
WP: Mackenzie Peterson; LP: Seaaira Yiengst. Leading hitters: (PC) Brittany Ferrentino 2-3; (NFM) Natavia Ellis 2-3, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Sajarie Jones 2-4, 2B, R; Marion Reed 2-3. Records: Port Charlotte 6-21, North Fort Myers 23-3.