SIDELINES Matanzas, FPC softball teams are undefeated through five games

Pirates sophomores Ava Thomas and Gabby Salgado go inside and outside the park against Seabreeze.

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  • | 8:00 a.m. March 1, 2023
Matanzas softball players Gabby Salgado, Ava Thomas and Ashleigh Pigeon.
Matanzas softball players Gabby Salgado, Ava Thomas and Ashleigh Pigeon.
Photo by Brent Woronoff
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Matanzas softball players Gabby Salgado and Ava Thomas each hit a home run in a 16-1, three-inning victory against Seabreeze on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Salgado's two-run shot cleared the fence in deep center field. Thomas hit a three-run inside-the-park homer down the third-base line.

"I saw it get past the left fielder, and that's when I stepped on the gas," Thomas said.

Salgado said she was just trying to make contact. And she did, driving the ball over 220 feet.

Ashleigh Pigeon pitched two of the three innings and struck out five batters. Last season, she had shoulder and elbow issues and couldn't throw at all. This season, she has 13 strikeouts in nine innings.

"I feel great. I love it," she said.

The following day, the Pirates improved to 3-0 with an 8-4 win over Mainland. Matanzas took advantage of five Mainland errors to score six unearned runs.

Mainland pitcher Bella DeJulio held Matanzas to one hit and struck out 14 batters in six innings.

The Pirates have just two upperclassmen on the team — seniors Chloe Baker and Alyssa Lugo. They have eight sophomores — including Salgado, Thomas and Pigeon — and three freshmen.

Flagler Palm Coast's softball team has also had a hot start. The Bulldogs opened with an 18-0, four-inning win against St. Augustine on Feb. 21.

They followed that with a 3-1 victory over Sanford Seminole on Feb. 24. Aun'yale Howard went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs against the Seminoles.

FPC visits Menendez on Thursday, March 2, and then plays its first game at home on March 6 against Seabreeze.


Florida sophomore Micayla Cronk took home one gold medal and three bronze medals at the Southeastern Conference Swimming Championships Feb. 14-18 at Texas A&M.

The Flagler Palm Coast grad helped the Gators women's team win their first SEC title since 2009 as Florida became the first school to sweep the men's and women's SEC titles since Auburn did it in 2008.

Cronk helped UF win the 800-yard freestyle relay with a time of 6:57.11. She swam a career-best 1:43.77 — the fourth-best time in school history — to finish third in the 200 freestyle.

She also helped the Gators win bronze in the 400 freestyle relay with the second fastest time in school history — 3:29.48, And she won a third bronze in the 200 freestyle relay as the Gators swam a 1:27.28.

Cronk missed a fourth bronze medal by two-hundredths of a second with a 47.99 time in the 100 free. She swam a career-best 22.08 in the 50 free to finish sixth. 


First-year coach Kyle Marsh's FPC baseball team improved to 3-1 with a 6-5 victory in nine innings against University on Feb. 28.

Cody Clymer has been solid on the mound for the Bulldogs with a 2-0 record and a 0.54 earned run average. He has 12 strikeouts in 13 innings.

FPC has home games on consecutive nights, Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. against DeLand; and Friday, March 3, at 6 p.m. against New Smyrna Beach.


Matanzas' baseball team won its first two games, 16-2 over Mainland and 4-2 against Palatka with two runs in the top of the seventh.

The Pirates will face Pine Ridge in their home opener Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. 


FPC soccer player Emma Swearingen has been selected to play in the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Girls All-Star Soccer Classic March 10-11 at Mulberry High School. 

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