After a slow start, the Destin All-Stars pulled off a 19-9 win over Shalimar in the second round of play in the Florida District 1 Little League 7-9 year old Machine Pitch Softball Tournament in Shalimar Monday night.
Destin beat Freeport 16-6 in round one on Saturday.
On Monday, the Destin All-Stars fell behind 9-2 early but battled back to eventually run-rule Shalimar.
“I think they finally calmed down and played like they were supposed to,” said Destin team manager Brandon Patzig. “We’ve been working really hard the last couple of weeks.
“Our defense is solid, we know that. And our hitting is going to be fine, but we’ve got to be a little bit better on that and base running. That’s what we’re going to work on.”
However, their base running and taking extra bases paid off on Monday evening.
In the top of the first, Shalimar connected for four hits and capitalized on a couple of Destin errors to score the five-run limit. Kyli Madrid doubled, while Libby Miller, Abigail Ledbetter and Molly Mayfield each singled.
Destin got a couple of runs back in the bottom half. Hayley Mikel singled and scored on a shot from Shelby Plasier. Shay Kitchens knocked in Plasier for a 5-2 game.
In the top of the second, Shalimar picked up four more runs on six hits for a 9-2 lead. Isabel Ramirez and Miller each singled for RBIs.
The Destin All-Stars closed the gap in the bottom half scoring the five-run limit. Connecting for singles were Lucy Hall, Casey Cieutat, Lynlee Armacost, Anna Beyhl and Lane Fortenberry. Hall, Cieutat, Armacost and Beyhl each scored. Kendra Ayers, who reached on an error, scored on the hit by Fortenberry.
In the top of the third, the Destin defense kicked in and shut Shalimar down. Skyler Murdock and Madrid hit back-to-back singles. Up next, Hayden Law hit a fielder’s choice with Destin’s Shay Kitchens and Elena Martin teaming up for a putout at third base. Autumn Green hit a shot back to the pitcher, Fortenberry, who made the catch then got Madrid out at second for a double play to sit Shalimar down.
In the bottom of the third, Destin took their first lead of the game scoring the five-run limit. With one out, Martin singled and scored on a double to left by Plasier. Kitchens reached on an error as did Kira Shock. Plasier and Kitchens scored on some fielding errors and crafty base running. Lucy Hall belted a double to left center and managed to make it on home on some throwing errors. Destin led 12-9.
In the top of the fourth, Destin All-Stars shut Shalimar down quickly. Shortstop Kitchens fielded a grounder for an out, and then Fortenberry got a grounder and made the throw to first for the second out. The next batter struck out.
Destin again scored the five-run limit in the bottom of the fourth. Cieutat and Armacost hit back-to-back singles with Cieutat scoring. Beyhl singled and Armacost tried to score but was pegged at the plate. Ayers reached on an error and Tatum Kirk singled to bring in Beyhl. Ayers scored on some crafty base running. Fortenberry singled and scored on a double from Martin for a 17-9 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, Destin again held Shalimar in check. Lucy Hall at second fielded a grounder and made the throw to first for the first out. Then Kira Shock at first fielded a grounder for an unassisted out at first. Miller singled for Shalimar, but then the next batter struck out.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Destin All-Stars scored two runs to run-rule Shalimar. Plasier singled down the third baseline and scored on a hit from Kitchens. Kitchens ran the bases on Shalimar throwing errors and scored for a 19-9 win.
“We’re going to keep running until they stop us,” Patzig said. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
The Destin All-Stars are scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against Niceville in the tournament.