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Gulf Coast opens with Manatee

Updated Apr 27, 2017 at 10:02 PM

 

By The News Herald

VERO BEACH — Gulf Coast has had two weeks to hone its game heading into Friday’s first and second round of the NJCAA/FCSAA softball state tournament.

 

The Lady Commodores (28-21) open against State College of Florida-Manatee (33-23) in the 16-school tournament at 12:30 p.m. CDT. Gulf Coast is seeded No. 10 and Manatee No. 8.

 

They will play again at 5:30 p.m., win or lose, either in the winners’ bracket or facing elimination should they fall in the opener.

 

Gulf Coast’s most recent game was a 2-1 win on April 13 against top-seeded Chipola, rated No. 3 in the country. Chipola opens against unseeded Hillsborough at 10 a.m.

 

Also representing the Panhandle Conference are fifth seeded Northwest Florida State and unseeded Tallahassee.

 

Lady Commodores coach Beth Wade used the final weeks of the regular season to do some experimenting with the team’s lineup, both in the field and with the batting order.

 

Gulf Coast has an advantage over Manatee in team batting average (.325 to .300) and fielding percentage (.943 to .925). Kynadi Tipler paces the Lady Commodores with a .436 batting average and 52 runs batted in to go with six home runs.

 

Payton Carpenter hits .431 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs, Annsley Brown hits .395, Sirdy Marchozzi .358 with a team-high nine homers and 45 RBIs and Bailey Burk has scored 51 runs and stolen 50 bases.

 

Gulf Coast features a three-pronged pitching rotation. Kristina Manthei is 13-8 with two saves, Carpenter 8-6 and Brittany Lee 7-7.

By contrast, Sammi Grat and Carrie Lucas have pitched the majority of innings for the Manatees. Grat is 15-9, Lucas 15-10 and Lauren Staley 3-4.

 

Jessica Harvey is by far the major power threat with 11 homers and 50 RBIs. She hits .352, second on the team to Lindsey Hall at .362. As a team, Manatee has fewer stolen bases than Burk.

 

Gulf Coast’s second tournament game will be 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Lady Commodores will play either sixth-seeded Indian River State or ninth-seeded Santa Fe.

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