SIDELINES: Matanzas softball pitcher Leah Stevens is extra perfect with an eight-inning, 21-strikeout perfect game

Also: FPC, Mainland, Matanzas, Seabreeze track standouts; Ormond Pop Warner player honored; Palm Coast offers free 'Welcome to Pickleball' clinics.

Leah Stevens pitches in the second inning with a 1-0 lead against Beachside on March 7. Photo by Brent Woronoff
Leah Stevens pitches in the second inning with a 1-0 lead against Beachside on March 7. Photo by Brent Woronoff
Photo by Brent Woronoff
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Matanzas junior softball pitcher Leah Stevens pitched an extra-inning perfect game against Pedro Menendez High School on March 28 in St. Augustine.

Stevens faced 24 batters in eight innings and struck out 21 of them, while not allowing a hit or a walk. The Pirates won 1-0 on a walk-off sacrifice by Ruby Fogel.

Stevens, who did not play softball last year after suffering from a rare type of stroke caused by a blood clot in her brain, has a 0.41 earned run average in 51 innings. She has 119 strikeouts while allowing 10 hits and 17 walks. She has not allowed a hit in five of her eight games in the circle. She has pitched three complete-game no-hitters, including the perfect game.

The Pirates (10-1) defeated Flagler Palm Coast (8-5) 5-2 on April 2, at Matanzas. Stevens allowed one earned run while FPC's Alexis Laura did not allow an earned run.

Laura, who relieved in the first inning after the Pirates scored four runs, stuck out 11 batters in six innings, while allowing three hits and no walks. Stevens struck out 14 in seven innings, gave up four hits and walked three to improve her record to 8-1.


Olivia Gaines, Jada Dotson, Summer Barnes and Aun'Yale Howard already had FPC's 4x100 school record. At the Florida Relays, they broke the school's 4x200 record too. Courtesy photo

Flagler Palm Coast’s 4x100 girls relay team of Aun’Yale Howard, Olivia Gaines, Jada Dotson and Summer Barnes broke the school earlier this season. At the Florida Relays in Gainesville on March 30, the quartet gained another school record, this time in the 4x200.

With Dotson leading off and Gaines running anchor, the Bulldogs' runners ran an FPC record time of 1:45.21 to finish 14th at the elite meet.

Thrower Colby Cronk had the best performance for the Bulldogs at the University of Florida’s Percy Beard Track, placing second in boys shot put at 53 feet, 10.5 inches and fourth in discus with a personal record 161 feet, 5 inches.

Kamron Davis placed eighth in the boys 800 with a PR time of 1:55.74 and then helped the 4x800 relay team with Jack Gilvary, Ayden Peterson and Evan Williams run 8:03.92, slicing over 11 seconds off their time at the Bob Hayes Invitational on March 16.

The Bulldogs will host the Five Star Conference track meet on Thursday, April 4.


Several locals placed among the top three at the Embry-Riddle Running Elements Classic on March 30. Among girls, Matanzas’ Jordan Youngman won the 400 hurdles in 1:05.77 while also placing second in high jump (4 feet, 9.75 inches), fifth in 100 hurdles and eighth in the 4x800 relay. Matanzas’ Sierra Howard (800, 2:21.01) and Nina Rodriguez (steeplechase, 8:15.79) and Seabreeze’s Emma Uneda (triple jump, 34 feet, 1.25 inches) took home second-place medals. Seabreeze’s Tabitha Hick, Cydney Rivard, Aliana Martin and Kalease Heggins placed third in the 4x100.

On the boys side, Mainland’s Seth Rose won the 800 (2:00.83) and also won the 4x800 with Kajuan Curry, Jack Mathis and Khalil Wilmore. Mainland throwers won both the shot put and discus events. Antonio Wilson had the longest shot at 44 feet, 4.25 inches. Demond Noelien threw a 144-10 to win discus. Noelie was also third in javelin. Seabreeze freshman Taevon Orr won the long jump with a leap of 20-7.25.

Mainland’s Marquis McCants placed second in long jump (20-1). Jontrell Edwards was the runner-up in the 100 meters (10.97), Wilmore placed second in the 400 (51.24) and Ezaiah Shine placed second in the 200 (22.71). Matanzas’ Jordan Mills placed third in the both hurdles events, and Seabreeze’s Hunter Shuler was third in the 3,200. 


Ormond Beach Sandcrabs quarterback Michael McDonough has been named a Pop Warner All-Southeast Region First Team Scholar Athlete. Courtesy photo

Ormond Beach Middle School eighth grader Michael McDonough will be honored at the April 6 Pop Warner banquet as an All-Southeast Region First-Team Scholar Athlete. He is one of 40 first-team scholar athletes in the Southeast Region, which includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

McDonough, a quarterback, helped lead the Ormond Beach Sandcrabs 14U team to a 7-1 regular-season record, throwing 17 touchdown passes.


The city of Palm Coast is celebrating National Pickleball Month by offering residents free “Welcome to Pickleball” sessions as the new Southern Recreation Center, 1290 Belle Terre Parkway. The facility features 12 outdoor pickleball courts.

At the Welcome to Pickleball sessions, certified instructors will teach beginners the rules of the game. The sessions will be held Tuesday and Firday mornings (8-9:30 a.m.) and Wednesday afternoons (1-2:30 p.m.).

Additionally, residents eager to play pickleball at Holland Park can do so by checking out pickleball nets free of charge from the Palm Coast Community Center.

Email Associate Editor Brent Woronoff at [email protected]


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