North Fort Myers extended its stay in the state softball playoffs Tuesday night with a gritty 4-3 victory in 12 innings at Venice. The win evens the season series between the teams at 2-2.
The Red Knights took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning that lasted until the bottom of the seventh when the Vikings tied the game on back-to-back-to-back singles and an error to force extra innings.
The Knights scored three runs in the fourth, two on a mishandled bunt by Sarah Waitekus with two runners aboard and the third on Alynn Kayatta's sacrifice fly.
Once the game was tied, the Knights mounted a rally in the top of the 12th when Kaylee Morgan led off with a double to right-center field. With two outs, Mckenzie Corbitt lined a single off the shortstop's glove to plate the game-winning run.
Pitcher Mackenzie Peterson, who pitched all 12 innings allowing the three runs and scattering nine base hits with four strikeouts, set down the Vikings in order in the bottom of the 12th to seal the victory.
The Knights (22-5) advance to the Region 6A-3 final Friday night at Tampa Chamberlain, which eliminated Tampa Jefferson Tuesday night.
Hardee County 1, Cape Coral 0: Cape Coral will not be making their second appearance in softball's Elite Eight state playoffs in school history after all. The Seahawks lost a Region 5A-3 semifinal heartbreaker at Hardee County Tuesday night.
Seahawks pitcher Makenzie Buss pitched well enough to win, giving up just three base hits, but allowed the game's only run. Mallory Gerrero had two hits in the shutout loss.
Ida Baker: Two additional student athletes at Baker have signed letters-of-intent to play collegiate football.
Philip Munroe will be attending Lake Erie College next fall and Terrance Manley will play for Hiram College.
North Fort Myers: A total of seven student athletes have committed to colleges and are signing letters-of-intent at a school ceremony on Thursday. Three are continuing soccer careers, three in football and one in cross country.
Dylan Czerwinski (Bridgewater College), Jorge Perera (University of Charleston), and Austin Campbell (Northwood University) will continue their football careers in the fall. Cross country athlete Abigail Larson is heading to the University of Tampa.
Caitlin McGlynn (Webber International), Darian Leschewski (Northern State University), and Aaron Magallanes (Ave Maria) will continue to perform on the soccer field for their chosen schools.