The Class 1A District 4 Softball Tournament begins today at Wewahitchka High School with semifinal games at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. CST and the Championship game is set for 6 p.m. CST Friday.
In the April 29 semifinal games #2 seed Liberty County plays #3 seed Bozeman at 4 p.m., and in the 7 p.m. game #1 seed Wewahitchka hosts # 4 seed Franklin County.
Let us look at the teams.
Currently ranked 3rd in Class 1A and #60 in Florida overall, the Lady Gatos earned a bye into the semifinal game. The perennial softball power Gators graduated six seniors in 2020 and still found a way to post an 18-2 record. The Gators are led by junior pitcher Haley Guffey who posted a 16-2 record in the circle with over 200 strikeouts, and is batting .475 with five home runs. Virginia transfer center fielder Kiley Parker anchors the outfield for the Gators with a .339 batting average and junior shortstop Katie Shealy is the leader in the infield with a batting .310 batting average.
Liberty County (17-6)
Liberty County enters the game as the #6 ranked team in Class 1A and the number 127th team in Florida. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Port St. Joe 10-0.to earn their spot in the district semifinal. Youth abounds at Liberty County with sophomore pitcher Jasmine Finuff posting a 7-4 record (1.61 ERA) and freshman Kallan Mercer 6-2 (2.91 ERA). At the plate the Lady Bulldogs count on sophomore Ella Davis .422 batting average, senior Shelby Copas .380 average with three homers, Kallan Mercer with a .352 average and a pair of homers, and Gabrie Flowers batting .349.
Bozeman is an improved team in 2021 and earned their way into the district semifinal by defeating Blountstown 10-7. Pitchers Bristol Lovrekovic and Piper Messick provided a one-two punch in the circle for the Lady Bucks with both pitchers posting a regular season record of 6-5 and Lovrekovic posting a 3.99 ERA and Messick a 4.34 ERA. Messick and Lovrekovic also lead the Bucks at the plate with senior Lovrekovic hitting .523 and sophomore Messick .520. Other contributors at the plate are junior Zoe Baton .400 and senior Kaylee Jones .388.
Franklin County (12-12)
Franklin County is the number 19th ranked team in Florida in Class 1A. The Seahawks shut out Altha 10-0 to earn their spot in the district semifinals. The Seahawks are as young as you can get in the circle with 8th grader Sarah Ham carrying the workload with 9 wins and 10 losses. Batting leaders for the Seahawks include 8th grader Ryan Brown .500, junior Ariel Andrews .422, senior Abby Johnson .410, and 8th grader Micahlyn ONeal .393.