- April 7, 2021
The pregame was fun for both teams.
Matanzas softball coach Sabrina Manhart hoped Seabreeze would remember the impromptu party ahead of the Feb. 23 game rather than the Pirates’ 19-0 three-inning rout that followed.
The season-opener at Matanzas was delayed for about an hour because of a scheduling miscommunication with the umpires’ association. The teams made the most of the delay.
“There was some dancing. (The players) enjoyed some camaraderie (before the game). I think our fans were delighted and entertained. Seabreeze has always been a friendly foe.”
SABRINA MANHART, Matanzas softball coach
“There was some dancing. (The players) enjoyed some camaraderie,” Manhart said. “I think our fans were delighted and entertained. Seabreeze has always been a friendly foe. We enjoy playing them every year. It was nice for the girls to have some fun.”
The game was not as fun for the rebuilding Sandcrabs. Matanzas got up to the plate just twice but scored all the runs it would need — 12 in the first and seven more in the second — to win by the 15-run rule. Chloe Baker went 3 for 4 with two RBIs.
Emma Wood and Leah Stevens combined on a no-hitter, but Manhart added a difficulty factor for her pitchers, forcing them to work on their secondary pitches. As a result, they combined to strike out eight and walk six.
But, just like their preseason game against New Smyrna Beach, they did not allow a hit.
Things got slightly more challenging for the Pirates the next night. They needed to go to a full seven innings to defeat Mainland 5-0. The Bucs recorded the first hit off Matanzas pitching in 2022, but the Pirates’ pitchers had another stellar outing with Wood and Stevens each striking out six batters. Wood ran her no-hit streak to six innings over the two regular-season games.
Mainland pitcher Bella DeJulio matched the Pirates' strikeout total with 12 in her high school debut. But Matanzas strung together eight hits against the Bucs' pitcher and took advantage of four Mainland errors. DeJulio also had the Bucs' only hit. Wood went 3 for 3 with two doubles. Myracle Pigninelli went 2 for 3.
The Pirates’ first difficult test is expected to come on March 1 at Creekside. They host Flagler Palm Coast on Friday, March 4 at 7 p.m. It will be senior night for Matanzas.