Jupiter fell one step short of earning its second consecutive berth in the state softball semifinals.
Davie-Western scored a pair of runs in the top of the 13th, and then withstood a late Warriors’ rally on the way to a 3-2 victory in a Class 9A regional championship game.
With the win, the Wildcats (20-7) advance to next week’s state tournament in Vero Beach. Western will play Miami-Coral Reef next Friday at Historic Dodgertown.
Jupiter, which rallied to tie the game 1-1 in the 10th and nearly rallied from a two-run deficit in the 13th, finishes its season 25-4.
“We played all year with only four experienced varsity players,” Warriors coach Steve Ahern said. “I think our youth caught up with us tonight. We battled, but we had plenty of opportunities.”
Western opened the game with a triple, and seemed poised to take an early lead after putting a second runner on with one out.
But Jupiter starter Marisa Mellone pitched out of the jam, getting the final two outs on ground balls to get out of the inning.
The Wildcats added another extra-base hit in the third, putting a runner on second with two outs following a Karissa Bauzon double.
But Mellone got out of the inning again, retiring the side on a strikeout – her second.
Wildcats starter Jada Oleski, meanwhile, was cruising.
The righthander shut Jupiter down through the first four innings, allowing no hits and two walks while striking out two. She didn’t allow a runner past second base to that point.
Chrissy Fontaine broke up the no-hitter the following inning with a one-out bloop single to left. But the Warriors couldn’t get her home.
Western then had another opportunity to break the scoreless tie. Sydney Tedim led off the sixth with a triple – again – but was stranded at third – again – after Mellone retired the side on a pop-up and two strikeouts.
Jupiter had its own chances in the sixth and seventh, putting a combined four runners on base. But Oleski worked out of trouble in both innings, sending the game into extra innings.
Western finally broke through in the 10th, scoring the game’s first run on Bianca Cristafaro’s sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead.
But Jupiter came right back in its half of the inning, tying it up on Ashley Goebel’s one-out RBI single. Oleski limited the damage after that, getting the final two batters on a pop-up and a strikeout. The Warriors left the bases loaded.
After a scoreless 11th and 12th, the Wildcats struck for two runs in the top of the 13th on RBI singles by Oleski and Sydney Pappas.
Jupiter got a run back on Fontaine’s RBI single, but couldn’t close the gap further.
Fontaine finished with four hits for the Warriors, while Shelby Russo added two hits.