One game at a time leads Noles to final

Addison Poe (L) and Olivia Burkshire celebrate after Seminole's 4-0 win in the FHSAA State semi-finals. PHOTO: Emily Miller

CLERMONT – One game at a time. That is what Seminole coach Aimee Stiffey keeps telling her team.

Now the Noles have one game left – the FHSAA 7A State Championship against Western (Davie) on May 25 after Stiffey’s Seminoles downed Windermere 4-0 in the semi-finals.

Seminole jumped out early helped by five Windermere errors and never looked back enroute to the championship.

 “It’s just a game and that’s what we been reminding them – is that everyone is good and if we keep playing our game it doesn’t matter who we play,” Stiffey said. “We always just focus on one game at a time and don’t look ahead.”

The win was Seminole’s fourth in a row as they have lost once since April 8 – a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Lake Mary in the FHSAA District tournament. Seminole bounced back a week later with a 6-5 8-inning win over the Rams in the Regional quarterfinal.
“Hats off to all Seminole County schools,” Stiffey said. “I truly think we have one of the best counties in Florida for softball so to be able to get through that just shows the kind of power we have.”

Ava Matthews accounted for the Seminole lone hit on the day as the junior went 1-for-3 at the plate. From the circle, not much got past Anne Long, who gave up just three hits to keep Windermere off the board. Long hasn’t tossed less than five strikeouts in nine consecutive pitching appearances.

Despite the current win streak, Seminole started the season a bit rocky as the Noles lost their first three games building on a 2-4 record.
“The beginning of the season we were getting in tune with everybody,” Stiffey said. “This is a great group of girls that care for each other, they want it for each other. In the beginning we we’re getting to know a few things.”

Now the Noles just need to know this: they won their first Regional title in school history this year and now will play for their first state championship.

Game time is 11am on May 25.