VALRICO - Needing two wins to make the pool playoffs, the Land O' Lakes Junior Softball (13-14) Little League team split a pair of games Saturday during the Junior Softball State Tournament at the Bloomingdale Little League complex.
Land O' Lakes beat Weston 8-6 in the first game. Lauryn Turcotte hit a solo home run, drove in two runs and scored a pair for the Pasco County team. Chelsey Tejas was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Mary Sorgenfrei (1-1) was the winning pitcher.
Land O' Lakes even staged a late comeback to take their only triumph.
Down 6-5 in the seventh inning, Land O' Lakes scored three runs on one hit and two errors. Sorgenfrei reached on an error. Emily Austin came in as a pinch runner. Chelsey Tejas singled. Austin and Tejas scored when Turcotte reached on a fielder's choice and Weston made an error. Turcotte later scored.
Jorge Figueredo took over as manager as Sara Bailey had to miss the first game.
'It's nice to get a victory in here,' said Figueredo. 'It was a tough game. We were hoping this would be our easy game. It didn't work out that way. We got a key hit from Lauryn Turcotte. That home run really got us back in the game. That got the girls excited and got our bats going.'
The Land O' Lakes team had little time to celebrate the victory.
In the second contest, they lost 8-3 to Naples (3-0), the pool leader. Emily Austin was 2-for-3 with a run-scoring double and scored a run for Land O' Lakes.
Jessi Sherbet was the starting and losing pitcher.
Land O' Lakes had seven hits.
For Naples, Traci Wyss and Jazmin Swope both scored a pair of runs. Wyss hit a three-run home run to key the victory.
'It was hard after they had already played another game,' said Bailey. 'They played well. Every game we played was close.
'They played hard. They hustled. It was a good experience for them, getting as far as they did. It was a historic thing.'
Bailey said she believed her team was the first softball team to earn a trip to a state tournament.
Land O' Lakes lost to Indian River 5-3 Friday. The Pasco County team finished with a 1-2 mark.