NEW PORT RICHEY — Gulf High softball coach Rick Hohenthaner didn’t know much about Thursday night’s opponent, Academy of the Holy Names, and the longtime Buccaneers coach planned it that way.
With several tournaments coming up and the possibility of Gulf reaching the postseason again, Hohenthaner wanted to have his team experience playing an unfamiliar opponent.
The Buccaneers started off slow but picked it up and coasted to a 12-3 non-district victory.
“We’re a slow, boiling pot and we start to get going usually in the fourth or fifth innings,” Hohenthaner said. “I intentionally spent no time whatsoever studying Academy of the Holy Names. I didn’t want to come into the game with all these predetermined plans, because I’m using these kind of games as a base for tournaments and hopefully the postseason.”
The Buccaneers (6-0), ranked No. 10 in Class 5A, scored 11 of their 12 runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
They received a solid pitching performance from sophomore Britney Pressler, who struck out four and allowed eight hits. She recorded her first victory of the season.
Academy of the Holy Names (5-2) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when senior Devin Lewis doubled in Brittany Bramwell and Victoria Valdes.
Gulf answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth, and the fifth inning proved decisive as the Buccaneers scored five runs to take control.
Gulf scored six runs on four hits, four walks and an error in the sixth.