By Caroline Smith

Key West High School gained two more district championships this past week, when the Conch softball and baseball teams each won their games in the district finals.

On May 5, the Key West Lady Conchs played their district game at St. Brendan in Miami. The Conchs took the win 2-0. Key West’s bats struggled as they only scraped six hits. Marina Goins took credit for two of the hits with Madison Gonzales, Miesha Hernandez, Caroline Smith and Chloe Knowles each smacking one. 

The Conchs scored both their runs in the third inning. Yaharia Williams led off the inning with a walk, then scored from first base on a line drive to right field by Gonzalez to put the Conchs on the board. Goins singled and was followed by a single by Hernandez. Knowles came to bat with the bases loaded. She singled on a ground ball to right field, scoring Goins to put the Conchs up by two. Chloe Gilday pitched a shutout for Key West, giving up only one hit with eight strikeouts to help the Conchs to victory.

Key West’s Miesha Hernandez makes the final out at third during the Lady Conchs’ district win over St. Brendan in Miami last week. CAROLINE SMITH/Keys Weekly

Baseball battles back to beat St. Brendan, 7-6

On May 6, the Key West Conchs baseball team also faced St. Brendan. The game got out of hand early for the Conchs after they allowed four runs and had three errors in the first inning, all of which would be costly. St. Brendan scored yet another run in the third inning,  making the game 5-0. The Conchs responded with one run in the bottom of the third on a single from Trevor Zuelch, which scored Anthony Lariz. Key West was down by 4 runs and needed to get something going. It wasn’t until the fifth inning, after they allowed one run to score for St. Brendan, that their bats came alive. The Conchs compiled a series of singles, walks and errors to score three runs. Lariz was on first base after a walk; Noah Burnham singled, followed by a single from Preston Herce, loading the bases. Lariz scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch. Jack Haggard reached base on an error by the Sabres, scoring Burnham and Herce. 

Key West’s defense buckled down after the fifth inning, allowing no more runs. The Conchs tied the game in the sixth inning by scoring an additional two runs. Jose Pedigon led off the inning with a single followed by two walks, then a single to center field from Haggard, scoring Pedigon and Herce. Neither team scored in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. The Sabres did not score in the top of the eighth, leaving it up to the Conchs to walk it off. Herce walked to start the inning. Zuelch singled, followed by a sacrifice bunt from Haggard to put runners on second and third. The game ended after Herce raced home on a passed ball to cap off a wild comeback victory.

Andris Borroso started on the mound for the Conchs. He allowed six runs, but only one was earned. He gave up four hits and had one strikeout. Jacob Burnham came to the mound in the top of the sixth inning and would finish the game for the Conchs, taking the win. He gave up two hits and no runs while striking out three. 

The Lady Conchs took on the LaBelle Cowboys at 7 p.m. May 11, after presstime, in the regional quarterfinals at the KWHS Backyard. At 7:30 p.m., Conch baseball faces the Mariner Tritons in their regional quarterfinals game at Rex Weech Field. As No. 1 seeds in the region, both teams continue to play at home if they win. If successful Wednesday night, baseball will be at home on Saturday, May 14 and softball would take the diamond on Tuesday, May 17.