Destin High Shark softball pulls off win in extra innings over visiting Rams

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

After jumping out to a 10-2 lead in the first inning, the Destin Sharks almost let victory slip away. But they dug deep and pulled out a 18-17 win in the bottom of the eighth over the visiting Rutherford Rams in high school softball action at Morgan Sports Center in Destin. 

“I’m extremely proud we won in front of the home crowd,” said Destin Coach Rob DeGennaro after the three-hour game. “We’ve got girls that want to compete and play softball. From the first game to this game, they’ve learned to ride that roller coaster.

Anna Carroll was all smiles after she scored the winning run for the Destin High Sharks in an 18-17 victory over the visiting Rutherford Rams of Panama City. Giving her a high-five is head coach Rob DeGennaro.

“I’m extremely proud of Syd (Sydney Davis) … she threw almost 200 pitches tonight. She was hurting,” he said. 

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After Davis pitched seven innings, DeGennaro put Olivia McClain in to finish up in the pitching circle. 

“She saved the day as always,” DeGennaro said of McClain. 

To start the game Rutherford scored two runs in the top of the first. 

Destin's Olivia McClain picks up her bat and heads back to the dugout after slapping a home run over the centerfield fence in the first inning against Rutherford.

Destin came back strong in the bottom half with 10 runs on six hits.

McClain singled for an RBI, Ella Harris singled and Kylie Lebold put down a bunt. Ava Towery ripped a double to right center for three RBIs. Maddie Barr belted a homer to the right field fence for three RBIs. McClain got up to bat again and smacked one over the center field fence for a 10-run inning. 

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“It was a fat meat ball right down the middle,” McClain said of the pitch. “And I had some spaghetti with it,” she said with a big smile on her face in the dugout. 

In the top of the second, Destin sat the Rutherford Rams down quickly. Davis struck out two, walked one and gave up one hit before Abby Hodges fielded a grounder at second to get the third out. 

Destin was scoreless in the bottom as well. 

In the top of the third, the Rams picked up three runs on walks and errors for a 10-5 game. 

Destin's Holly Schmidt fields the ball for the Sharks. In the eighth inning, she made a catch and then pulled off a double play to get the Sharks out of the inning.

In the fourth, Rutherford slipped in one more run on a pair of singles. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Destin put five runs on the board on four walks and one big hit. With the bases loaded, Anna Carroll blasted a triple to right center for three RBIs. Carroll later stole home for a 15-6 game. 

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The Rams battled back in the top of the fifth and put four runs on the board. Destin came back with two for a 17-10 game. 

In the top of the sixth, Rutherford scored four runs on three hits. Emma Watkins and Alexis Gregg hit back-to-back doubles to bring in three runs total. Annabelle Watkins knocked in the other run for a 17-14 game. 

Sydney Davis pitched seven innings for the Destin High Sharks against Rutherford.

Destin got runners on base in the bottom half, but failed to score. 

In the top of the seventh, Rutherford evened the score with three runs on five hits. Annabelle Watkins drove in two runs and Gregg one. 

Destin failed to score in the bottom half, forcing the game into extra innings. 

In the top of the eighth, Rutherford threatened, but Destin got out of the inning unharmed. Destin’s third baseman Holly Schmidt had a catch for an out, and then pulled off an unassisted double play to stop the Rams. 

Destin's Olivia McClain makes a dive for a pop up but misses.

In the bottom half, Destin’s Carroll drew a walk and moved around to second when Barr was hit by a pitch. With McClain up to bat, Carroll stole third and then slipped in home on an error for the win. 

DeGennaro bragged on the city of Destin for getting the field ready for the team to play on Morgan Sports Center. 

“They’ve been great,” he said. 

Destin's second baseman Abby Hodges fields a ball and makes a throw to first. Destin beat the Rutherford Rams 18-17.

Last week the Sharks traveled to Panama City and beat the Rams on their home field 20-3. 

Getting hits for Destin were Carroll with a triple and a single for six RBIs; Barr, single for an RBI; McClain, double; Viani Silvestri, single; Harris, triple; and Lebold, single for three RBIs.