By STEVE JACKSON
Coach Glenn Rodriquez takes his East Bay Lady Indians to the iconic Legend’s Way Ballfields in Clermont this Thursday at 2 p.m. for the opening round of the Florida 5A softball championship. The Lady Indians clash with 18-11 South Lake High of Groveland. At 4 p.m. the next day, the winner meets the victor of Middlebury versus Naples at the same site for all the marbles.
The 17-12 Lady Indians continued their winning last week. Sophomore pitcher Elana Roush pitched the Lady Indians to a 3-1 win over Seminole for a regional championship. East Bay, behind the golden arm of Roush, had defeated Northeast High 4-0 earlier in the week.
Roush is also the top hitter for East Bay, with a .342 season average. The versatile sophomore also has a 15-9 record on the mound for the Lady Indians. South Lake is expected to pitch junior Alanna O’Brien. She is 11-9, winning four in a row. O’Brien is also one of the South Lake’s leading batters with a .318 batting average.
In the win over Seminole last week, Roush held the Warhawks to only one run on four hits. East Bay grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. Seminole came back for its lone score in the bottom of the 4th. Roush shutdown the losers the rest of the game while EB tallied an insurance run. Senior Gaby Miller knocked in a pair of runs for the Lady Indians. Kimora O’Kimosh, frosh, collected the other East Bay RBI. Frosh Molly Johnson had a 2 for 3 night at the plate and scored a run. Other runs were tallied by junior Ali DuPont and Kaylee Haas, a freshman. Roush held Seminole at bay with a complete game, walking two and whiffing 10.
Coach Rodriquez is in his 16th year as coach of East Bay softball. Counting wins and losses, this is the veteran coach’s best season since 2018, when the Lady Indians were 16-14, and the season of 2019, when East Bay went 18-10. Last season, the Lady Indians struggled to a 10-16 record.