The Munroe Lady Cats softball team was not the better team all season.
They knew it. Their coaches knew it. Everyone at the Aucilla softball field knew it. Munroe had been defeated by Aucilla Christian in all three meetings this season by a combined score of 30-2 with two games called for the mercy-rule.
So even if they weren’t the better team all season, they were the better team between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m. Tuesday last week in Aucilla, and that’s all they needed to upset the state second-ranked Aucilla Christian Warriors by a 6-3 score.
Freshman pitcher Jeri Sloan gave up only five hits and held Aucilla scoreless until the sixth inning. Timely hits by Kaitlyn Sirmons (3 for 4), Mary Pat Thomas and Ramsey Higdon (one RBI each) plus a terrific bunt by Kay Fletcher propelled the team to a stunning 5-0 lead after five innings and put Aucilla on their heels, where the Warriors played tight softball, hit pop-ups and made uncommon defensive errors.
Defensively, Munroe played error-less softball with the two biggest plays being a line drive double play by shortstop Sirmons in the fourth inning and a difficult, rally-ending catch by centerfielder Ramsey Higdon in the sixth. Higdon, running to her left, ended Aucilla’s biggest threat in the sixth when Aucilla scored all three runs.
The win sent Munroe, identical to their 2012 road trek to the state championship tournament, on the road to north Tampa to face Academy at the Lake for the chance to advance to the 2A semifinals Friday in Vero Beach.