State runner-up

Seminole loses pitcher duel 2-0 in state champion game vs Western

CLERMONT – Seminole’s historic run came to an end on May 25 as Western downed the Noles 2-0 in the FHSAA 7A State championship game at Legends Field.


“Our bats just didn’t show up,” Stiffey said. “Hats off to their pitcher, she was hitting her spots, she was making us miss and keeping us off balance and that’s what good pitchers do.”


From the start, the game was a duel between pitchers as both were able to keep the other team at bay.


In the second, Seminole’s Ava Hertz doubled to left field before an Ava Matthews sacrifice fly moved her to third, but that was as close as the Noles would get.


Seminole Senior Anne Long responded striking out the side. She would finish the game with eight strikeouts giving up 3 hits.  Western’s Ali Solo struck out nine allowing two hits.


The top of the fourth saw Addison Poe get the Noles’ other hit in the game when she singled to left. She would steal second, before being stranded on back-to-back outs to end the inning.


In the bottom of the fourth Western scored the game’s only runs when a Jade Castillo double scored two.




“We’re so proud of (all of them) they have never stopped having fun or staying focused,” Stiffey said. “That’s all you can really ask for. Unfortunately, our bats didn’t come out today, but that’s the way the coin lands sometimes.”


As unlikely it is for most to make it to the state championship in any sport, heading into spring break it may have seemed impossible for the Seminoles. After losing their first three games, the Noles were 5-5, and coach Aimee Stiffey admits the state finals was one of the furthest things from her mind. But that never stopped Stiffey and her staff from keep the team moving forward.


“We just take it one game at a time and that’s something we try to teach them,” Stiffey said. “It means a lot to our program we’ve come a really long way.


“We’ve had a few rough years, it’s been 18 years since we’d made it to a regional let alone states,” the Noles coach said. “But we’ve got great kids to rely on it’s been a blast to be here.”

Stiffey will have many of those “great kids” next season as the Noles only lose Long and fellow senior Olivia Burkshire from a roster the included nine freshman and sophomores.


“I’m looking forward to (next year),” Stiffey said. “Most people haven’t seen our second pitcher (rising senior Ava Matthews), she’s a force to be reckoned with and I can’t wait to see what she does.”


We’re all looking forward to it coach.