The Bishop Verot Vikings softball team has a lot of youth: Its starting lineup includes four freshman, a sophomore, and four juniors, all coached by Pablo Plaza, who is in his first year with the Vikings.
But the Vikings showed experience from the plate and pitcher’s mound in the FHSAA Region 4A-3 quarterfinals after defeating Clewiston 10-0 in five innings to notch their 20th win on the year.
“It’s been incredible. My freshman are playing like seniors and my juniors are playing to their standards. Everybody believes, backs each other up and has confidence,” Plaza said.
“It feels great to be on this ride with them.”
Sophomore Nicole Rodriguez led the Vikings (20-7) with standout performances from the pitcher’s mound and the plate. Rodriguez drove in the team’s first run with an RBI double in the first inning and drove in Bishop Verot’s fifth run in her next p at-bat on an RBI single. She also pitched a complete five innings, only allowing two hits and striking out 10 Clewiston (9-12) batters.
“She’s awesome: When she’s on, she’s on,” Plaza added.
“I have a great pitching rotation with her and two others. It was her turn tonight and she came out and helped us in a big way,” he said.
Erin Kyle and Gillian Takais also stood out by both going 2-for-3. They each notched two RBIs and scored two runs.
“It was a team effort tonight, since day one I told them that we play as a team and we win as a team,” Plaza said.
“We played a lot of small ball tonight and it worked. I’m very proud of them.”
The Vikings will travel to face Lincoln Park in the Region 4A-3 semifinals on Tuesday night.