Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High School Softball Roundup; Podany Powers Ponte Vedra to Win

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

High School Softball Roundup; Podany Powers Ponte Vedra to Win

Article excerpt

Byline: Clayton Freeman and

GLEN ST. MARY | Morgan Podany couldn't have picked a better night for a career-best performance.

With two home runs, including a grand slam, and seven RBI, Podany powered top-ranked Ponte Vedra past Baker County 10-0 in Tuesday's Region 1-5A final.

"I've never hit a grand slam before, so I can cross that off my bucket list," she said.

While Podany dominated at the plate and excelled in the field, Avery Geehr reigned from the mound with her throwing arm.

Back from a knee injury that sidelined her during the district tournament, Geehr hurled a two-hit shutout and struck out eight Wildcats.

"You can't replace an Avery Geehr," Sharks coach Jerry Shepherd said. "The kid has so many spins, in and out, up and down, and she's hard to figure out."

Ranked first in the state in Class 5A, Ponte Vedra (26-0) got on the board in the third inning when Taylor Zitiello scored Mary Jacobsen with a crisp single.

Then came the first of Podany's two homers, a liner to left that dropped just over the leap of Baker County left fielder Macy Jackson to put Ponte Vedra up 3-0.

Meanwhile, Geehr was cruising, striking out the side in the fourth.

Ponte Vedra blew the game open in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs before Podany crushed a pitch from Wildcats starter Mackenzie Wingard (18-4) far beyond the fence.

"I knew what she was throwing, what to expect, and how to react to it," Podany said.

Zitiello added a two-run blast as the Sharks scored six times in the inning.

"I feel like this game really gave our team a lot of momentum going forward," Geehr said.

Ponte Vedra will either travel to face Wakulla or host Lynn Haven Mosley in the regional final. Their game was postponed Tuesday night.

Podany is looking forward to the challenge.

"We're playing the best teams in the state, and we're beating the best teams in the state," she said. "To beat a great team like Baker County and prove to everyone that we have what it takes to take it all the way, I think it was a great win for us. …

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