KEY WEST CONCH BASEBALL & SOFTBALL GET WEEKEND WINS

Key West High School honors its senior softball players after its recent win against Lake Placid. From left, Montunique Van Staden, Isabella Perez, Emily Bracher, Marina Goins, Chloe Knowles, Madison Gonzalez and Yahaira Williams. CAROLINE SMITH/Keys Weekly

By Caroline Smith

On April 14, the Key West Lady Conchs softball team took on the Lake Placid Dragons for senior night in the Backyard of Key West High School, where senior Marina Goins pitched a shutout, giving up just two hits while striking out two in five innings. Goins also had two hits herself and led Key West in runs batted in with three as the Lady Conchs won 10-0.

 Senior Isabella Perez was behind the plate, and also hit two singles, scoring one run. In center field was senior Yaharia Williams, who went 3 for 3 with a double and a run batted in. At first base, senior Madison Gonzalez had one hit and two RBIs. Next to her at second base was senior Chloe Knowles, who had one hit and one RBI as well as a hit by pitch that brought her total to 7 hits by pitch for the season. Senior Montunique Van Staden was in right field and laid a beautiful bunt down the first-base line to score a run. The seventh senior, Emily Bracher, got a pinch-hit appearance on the night. Overall the Lady Conchs hit very well with a combined nine hits and 10 runs scored to beat Lake Placid in five quick innings. 

The Lady Conchs travel to Marathon on Friday, April 22 to take on the Dolphins. Key West softball is an impressive 14-3-1 on the season, with only two games remaining before the playoffs begin.

On April 15, the Key West Conchs baseball team faced the Rockledge Raiders and won 5-4. The Conchs took an early lead in the first inning on a two-run home run to left field by Trevor Zuelch. In the bottom of the fourth, Key West added to their lead when Jason Yarbrough singled, scoring Kai Smith. The Conchs continued to have one-run innings. In the fifth, they scored one run on a home run by Preston Herce, the Conchs’ second home run of the game. In the top of the sixth, the Conchs’ pitching and defense struggled, allowing four runs on two hits which tied the game 4-4 going into the bottom of the sixth. Key West kept up their one-run innings after Jose Perdigon singled on a line drive to right field, scoring Smith. The Conchs had nine hits with both Perdigon and Yarbrough having a multi-hit game. Zuelch led the Conchs in runs-batted-in with 2. 

Andris Barroso started on the mound for the Conchs and threw five solid innings before things began to unravel in the top of the sixth.  He was charged with the only four runs of the game scored against Key West. Barroso only gave up six hits, striking out four in his five innings of work. Felix Ong came in for the Conchs in the middle of the sixth inning, allowing three inherited runners to score. However, he did strike out three and allowed only one hit in picking up the win over the last two innings of the game. 

On April 16, the Conchs faced Rockledge again and again got off to a quick start, scoring their only three runs of the game in the first inning, two of which were walked in by Rockledge pitching. Jack Haggard knocked in the first run of the game on a single to left field. Key West struggled offensively with only four hits in the game. Haggard claimed two of them, adding a triple to right field in the bottom of the fifth. 

Key West’s pitching was strong in the second contest. Jacob Burnham started on the mound. He threw 6.2 innings, picking up four strikeouts while giving up seven hits and allowing the only run of the game for Rockledge. Anthony Lariz came to the mound for the Conchs in the middle of the seventh. Lariz allowed one hit and hit two batters before giving way to Haggard. Haggard came in to close the game in only three pitches, getting the final batter for Rockledge to ground out. The final score was 3-1 for the Conchs. 

The weekend series moved the Conchs to 14-6 on the season. They next take on Key Gate at Rex Weech field this Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Saturday, with a 2 p.m. first pitch.

Caroline Smith is a junior at Key West High School, a varsity softball player and a sports writer for the Keys Weekly.

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