Runs were hard to come by Friday in a Class 9A state softball semifinal between Jupiter and Palm Harbor University, but the Hurricanes needed just one.
Bailey Wilson’s RBI single in the top of the sixth brought home Jada Radecki with the winning run, lifting Palm Harbor University to a 1-0 victory over the Warriors at Historic Dodgertown.
The Hurricanes (30-2) advance to play Winter Garden-West Orange in today’s state championship game. West Orange — the defending state champion — defeated Miami-Palmetto 11-0 in the other semifinal.
“It’s very disappointing,” Warriors coach Steve Ahern said. “You have to score to win, and we didn’t get anything across.”
Pitching dominated from the start, with Jupiter’s Ally Costa and Palm Harbor University’s Taylor Scott giving up a combined four hits through the first four innings.
Just one batter reached second in that stretch, with Bailey Wilson doubling to short left field with one out in the second. Costa struck out the final two batters to end the threat.
Scott was equally as effective, allowing a leadoff single to Rachel Frankhouser and then setting down the next 10 Warriors’ batters before Costa laced a one-out single to center in the bottom of the fourth.
Bailey Phillips drew a two-out walk in the inning, but Scott picked up her fourth strikeout to end the threat.
Jupiter (26-4) put the leadoff runner on base in the fifth on Kendall Baer’s single to center, but the Warriors stranded her at first.
The Hurricanes broke the scoreless tie an inning later, taking a 1-0 lead on Wilson’s two-out, RBI single to left. The hit scored Radecki, who led off the inning with a single.
Jupiter put two more runners on in the sixth, but weren’t able to equalize. The Warriors were shut down in the seventh, as Scott closed out the win.
“We looked at too many strikes,” Ahern said. “We didn’t get the hit when we needed it.”
Costa, who is headed to Eckerd College in the fall, gave up seven hits and one earned run in seven innings. She struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter.
“She did everything that we needed her to do,” Ahern said of Costa. “That was probably one of her best outings all year. She came with her ‘A’ game.”