Posted: 11:19 am Monday, April 28th, 2014

Softball: Wellington, Park Vista, Dwyer among regional semifinalists 

By Jodie Wagner

Wellington and Park Vista will battle for the third time this season in Tuesday’s Class 8A softball regional semifinal round, with the winner moving one step closer to a state tournament berth.

Park Vista pitcher Gabby Decker and the Cobras will play Wellington Tuesday night in a Class 8A regional softball semifinal. The teams split their regular-season series.

The Wolverines and Cobras split their season series, with Park Vista winning 10-4 March 14 at the Jupiter Spring Break Tournament and Wellington returning the favor April 8 with a 4-2 win on the road.

Park Vista coach Donna Burnett expects Tuesday night’s game to be close.

“Both teams kind of know each other, not just from playing each other but also from travel ball,” she said. “I think it’ll be exciting. I expect a hard-fought game.”

Both teams won tough regional quarterfinal games, with Park Vista (20-8) needing 10 innings to get by Jupiter 2-1 and Wellington (23-4) winning a close 3-1 contest against upset-minded Boca Raton.

The Wolverines and Cobras have solid starting pitching with Stephanie Schmidt leading Wellington and Gabby Decker and Jaime Scher splitting time for Park Vista.

Offense also has been key for each team. The Cobras feature a solid starting lineup, with first baseman Marni Greenstein, shortstop Emily Lochten and third baseman Jaymee Kendall all batting above .400.

The Wolverines are powered by leading hitter Amanda Peck (.531), Schmidt (.470) and Brianna Gonzalez (.429).

The winner of Tuesday’s game advances to play Cooper City or Weston-Cypress Bay Friday for the regional championship.

Dwyer (20-8) will be the lone area representative from Class 7A in the regional semifinals following an 8-1 victory against Fort Lauderdale on Thursday coupled with West Boca’s 14-5 loss to Coconut Creek-Monarch.

The Panthers, who got a solid start from senior Caitlyn Roberson in their win, will play the Knights at home Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The winner will play Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas or Hialeah-American in the regional finals on Friday.

Six other area teams won their regional quarterfinal games last week, among them American Heritage, Grandview Prep, Lincoln Park Academy, Glades Day, Jensen Beach and Trinity Christian.

Here’s the schedule for Tuesday’s games:

Class 8A:

Park Vista at Wellington, 7 p.m.

Class 7A:

Coconut Creek-Monarch at Dwyer, 7 p.m.

Class 6A:

Pembroke Pines Charter at Jensen Beach, 7 p.m.

Class 4A:

Lincoln Park Academy at Fort Myers-Bishop Verot, 7 p.m.

North Broward Prep at American Heritage, 7 p.m.

Class 3A:

Fort Lauderdale-Westminster Academy at Trinity Christian, 4 p.m. (Lake Charleston Park)

Class 2A:

Glades Day at Master’s Academy of Vero Beach, 4:30 p.m.

Hollywood-Sheridan Hills Christian at Grandview Prep, 7 p.m.