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Lady Sharks softball rolls on senior night

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By Sean Arnold

The Cedar Key softball team celebrated a sendoff of three seniors in its finale last Thursday in Rosewood, including the school’s first-time college softball signee in Ashlyn Allen.

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It was a feel-good outing for the Lady Sharks all around as they cruised to a 17-2 win in three innings against Ocala-Meadowbrook.

Facing a first-time pitcher in the opening inning, the Lady Sharks boarded on five walks and a pair of hit-by-pitches to jump out to a 6-0 lead. In an act of sportsmanship, and to move the game along, CKS base runners took illegal leads while the pitcher was in the circle in order to force outs and end the inning.

Bria Finkle, Rylee Smith, Allen, Abby O’Steen, Makalynn “Sissy” Bowling and Cadence Girdler collected hits in the second frame to open up a 10-1 advantage for CKS.

O’Steen, a first baseman, and second baseman Savannah Howard were also celebrating senior night with Allen.

Lady Sharks coach Lisa Smith said the three seniors will be greatly missed for what they uniquely offer both on and off the field.

“They’ve been awesome all the way through,” Smith said. “They’re leaders, all three of them. They’re all so different. One’s sensitive, one’s real tough and one’s right in between.

“They all enjoyed it. We had a great little season, short and sweet.”

Allen, a St. Petersburg College commit and extensive travel ball player, normally stays at shortstop in order to make for more competitive games given her prowess in the circle, but started at pitcher for the occasion and retired the side with strikeouts.

Smith took over in the second and fanned three Mustangs.

Cedar Key tacked on seven runs in the third to trigger a 15-run rule win behind a single by Howard and a double by Finkle.