Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GOING FOR IT; Constituents Back Senators Softball the Unbeaten Fletcher High Team Earned a Trip to the State Playoffs for the First Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

GOING FOR IT; Constituents Back Senators Softball the Unbeaten Fletcher High Team Earned a Trip to the State Playoffs for the First Time

Article excerpt

Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY

When the Region 1-6A champion Fletcher High softball team left Thursday afternoon for Plant City for a state semifinal game against Eau Gallie that was scheduled for Friday, a police and motorcycle escort with lights flashing led them out of the school's parking lot.

A small crowd of loyal Beaches fans cheered them on in pouring rain, waving goodbye and good luck.

"Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar, all for Lady Senators stand up and holler!" they'd shouted minutes before the 14-girl team piled into three vans filled with their gear and luggage.

"Awesome," said junior Brooke Peaver, the second baseman. "I feel famous now."

The diamond stars had a 30-0 record this year, capping off their record May 5 with a 9-1 win over visiting Winter Springs.

The perfect season earned Fletcher its first trip to the softball state semifinals in school history.

"They are very excited," said Sonya Falcon, whose daughter Bri is on the team.

"They're pumped and ready to play hard and bring this championship home."

At practice Wednesday, Peaver said the team is successful because all of its members "are good friends in softball and out of softball."

Most have been playing together since they were young, playing travel ball in community leagues, she said. "We play as a team. No drama."

Last year, the team did very well, losing eight games and winning 20, said head coach Christina Flores-Deszell.

But they had one "nemesis," Mandarin High School, that beat them four times.

"This year they were pretty much motivated to get past Mandarin," she said. "And I think they are all good girls. It's a team sport, and at the end of the day, if we win, we're happy."

She praised senior pitcher Erin Schuppert for her outstanding record, including 312 strikeouts. And for "her leadership on the mound, it filtrates on everybody. To be 30 and 0, you have the whole team contributing."

Flores-Deszell said she expected Eau Gallie, in Melbourne, to be one of the toughest teams they'd faced all season. …

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