ARCADIA - Patience is a Lake Placid virtue.
Monday night on the road against DeSoto, staying disciplined at the plate was vital in the Green Dragons 4-2 victory over the Class 5A Bulldogs.
"We're on a nice roll right now," Lake Placid coach Alesia Cheshire said. "The girls have been hitting the batting cages hard, and while we were a little off tonight, we still pulled through."
In the fourth inning with the game tied at zero, Lake Placid's Breauna Corley went to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. After a few swings she quickly found herself down in the pitch count.
It was critical that the Dragons score at this junction, as both teams' pitchers had been unhittable. Lake Placid had primarily loaded the bases thanks to a walk and a batter being hit by a pitch.
Digging in at the batter's box, Corley took a few pitches to load the count. Knowing a walk would gift the Dragons the lead, DeSoto's pitcher hung a slow change-up over the plate.
Corley reared back and blasted the pitch over the left field fences to clear the bases and put the Dragons up 4-0.
"That was an amazing hit," Cheshire said. "She did what she needed to do to get those runners home and I am very, very proud of her."
Lake Placid's offensive stagnated from there, but it wasn't much of an issue, as pitcher Holly Krett continued her masterful performance into the final innings. Krett pitched her way out of several jams, including two bases loaded situations.
In the bottom of the sixth, with three Bulldogs on and no outs, Raveen Gobourne ignited the defensive play of the game, leading a 5-2-3 double play that thwarted what could've been a disastrous inning.
"That double play was the kicker. It definitely boosted the momentum," Cheshire said. "The rain definitely played an issue there in disrupting us. It came in waves and it really helped slow our defensive momentum."
But Krett escaped the inning with minimal damage, allowing just two runs. In the bottom of the seventh, she retired the side, sending two Bulldogs down swinging for her sixth and seventh strikeouts of the game. The non-district win completed the season sweep of DeSoto.
"Holly had great momentum tonight," Cheshire said. "And usually we like to give the ball to a few more girls, but tonight I didn't want to take her out of the situation. She had a little trouble in the sixth inning because of the rain, but she pitched her way out of it."
Cheshire added that it doesn't take much to get Krett honed in on the situation.
"We didn't really need to say that much to her," Cheshire said. "We basically just said that she needed to go out there and dig her way out of it. She knew what she needed to do."
With the district schedule complete, the Dragons final home game will be Thursday night. The Dragons host Sebring, with the junior varsity playing first at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7.
Lake Placid will face county rival Avon Park in the opening round of the 4A-9 tournament. The Dragons will host the game, which will be played Monday at a yet to be determined time.
While confident about drawing the Red Devils in the first round, a team the Dragons dominated in their two regular season meetings, Cheshire said it's best not to overlook anybody.
"They've really improved as the year's gone on," she said. "We definitely can't take them for granted."