Matthews leads Noles over Lake Mary 6-5

Ava Matthews celebrates with pitcher Anne Long after hitting the winning RBI in the bottom of the 8th to lift Seminole over Lake Mary 6-5 on May 9. PHOTO: Scott A. Miller

After struggling at the plate much of the night, junior Ava Matthews came through in the clutch for host Seminole as it downed Lake Mary 6-5 in the FHSAA Regional quarterfinals on May 9.

“Ava just has that fire that she is going to do it,” said Seminole coach Aimee Stiffey. “She just knows she’s going to do it and that is what she brought to that at bat.

“I had thought about calling for a bunt, a squeeze bunt and she told me ‘No I got it.’”

And did she have it.

In the bottom of the eighth inning and the season on the line, Senior Anne Long loaded the bases with 2 outs on a single to right field.

Avan Hertz laid down a fielder’s choice into the infield, a bad throw to the plate allowed Seminole to score twice setting up the late-game heroics.

Matthews was 0-for-3 on the night but sent a high ball deep into center field to give Seminole the win.

“That kid just carries so much confidence and it showed,” Stiffey said.

Addison Poe got thing going for Seminole in the bottom of the first with a solo home run. In the third she added to the Noles lead with a 1-run double.
Lake Mary answered with a 2-run homerun in the fourth and then took the lead 3-2 in the sixth on a throwing error to home.

In the bottom of the seventh Maddie Baker scored for the Noles to force the extra inning. Lake Mary jumped out 5-3 on a 2-run triple in the 8th to set up the Noles and Matthew’s come back.

Stiffey’s pep talk to her players heading into the bottom of the eight was straight forward.

“We just told the girls we’re in a good spot,” she told them. “We’ve got great players be humble but be hungry.”

Seminole travels to Spruce Creek on May 14 for the Regional Semi-final. Game time is 7pm.

Photos by Emily Miler and Scott A. Miller