Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

2015 Year In Review: District Champions !

The Mandarin Mustangs defeated the First Coast Buccaneers 10-0 in five innings on Thursday night to win the District 8A-1 Region 1 Championship. Mandarin won the contest with incredible hitting and pitching recording their second shut out in a row.IMG_7525 (800x533) Mandarin started early as slugger Kendall Reid hit a three run home run in the first inning. The home run was Kendall’s 13th of the season and 42nd of her career both school records. Mandarin would add another run to go up 4-0 in the first.

After the early barrage First Coast buckled down and stepped up the defense. The Buccaneers were able to strike out Mustang batters and held them scoreless for three straight innings. But the Bucs could not capitalize on the window of opportunity, failing to generate any offense in this span. In the fifth, Mandarin’s Alexa Anto smashed a three run triple into right field increasing the lead to 7-0. McKenzie Kern added an RBI next ballooning the lead to eight. Finally, senior Alexa Moore closed out the contest with a base hit pushing the score to 10-0.IMG_7556 (800x533)

The senior leadership on Mandarin’s team has driven them all year.  Mustangs Head Coach Natalia Gonzalez mentioned of her seniors this year ” They were freshman in 2012 when we made the state final four. They were also here when we had a little down time in between that year and this year. So I believe that early experience and adversity has helped them lead”.

The team shows closeness and camaraderie as they yell out synchronized chants during the game to encourage their teammates. The chants are more than just unscripted noise, they are melodic and rhythmic, indicative of their game. First Coast had a great season and their attempt to win another District Tournament came up just short. Their team is incredibly young, so look for them next year to make some noise again. But the loudest noise this year in District 1-8A is coming from the Southside, as Mandarin moves on to the playoffs.

 

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