After stamping a 10-0 mark in conference play, the Destin Marlins lost 12-0 to the Pryor Pirates in the Okaloosa County Middle School Softball 1A title game Wednesday night in Destin.
“We had a lot of errors on defense … and we struggled on offense,” said Destin Coach Kati O’Brian as she walked off the field. “It was by far the toughest game that we’ve played this season.
“It’s tough coming into a championship game against a team you know is competitive and does a good job,” she added.
The Pirates came out and put one run on the board in the first inning on a Destin error.
In the third, Pryor picked up three more runs. Katelyn Eisenberg doubled and Bailey Schwall singled to right and Eisenberg scored on an error. Ellie Long singled to left and Schwall scored. Long later scored on a defensive error.
In the fourth, Pryor scored again. Alexis Plummer walked and scored on a fielder’s choice from Long.
Pryor went on to score four in the sixth on four hits. Cameron Saenz doubled for two RBIs, while Alyanh Minardo and Brezzey Nelson each singled for RBIs.
In the top of the seventh, the Pirates scored their three last runs on a double from Saenz.
As for the Marlins they struggled at bat with MJ Toth, Izzy Douglas and Regan Palmer collecting the only three hits of the game.
“It was just one of those games where we couldn’t get a single thing to line up and come together,” O’Brian said.
The Marlins were playing without their starting pitcher Ava Smith and first baseman Blakely York, who were out due to injury.
“We had three fifth graders that played on this field tonight and they did a great job,” O’Brian said.
Fifth grader Izzy Douglas manned the pitching circle.
“Izzy did a great job on the mound tonight. She did her job … we couldn’t ask anything better from her,” she added.
The other two fifth graders are Hannah Isham, who played centerfield, and Mykean Pope at first base.
“We’ve got a great squad coming back next year,” O’Brian said, noting the Marlins are only losing two eighth graders, Brody Hlavaty and Regan Palmer.
“It was an incredible season," O'Brian said. "I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. I love these girls. In my heart they are the true champions.
“Sometimes you just go down and you can’t do anything about it.”