Windermere and Horizon softball win regional titles, advance to state semifinals

In Class 7A, Wolverines top Steinbrenner High while Hawks beat Osceola High in 5A.

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Two West Orange and Southwest Orange County area teams are still alive and fighting for a state softball championship after both went to extra innings to claim their respective regional titles; Horizon High in Class 5A and Windermere High in 7A.

After eight innings of play in the 5A, Region 2 championship game, the Hawks (23-5) topped Osceola High (19-11), 3-2.

Horizon was led from the circle by senior pitcher Avery Velazquez, who allowed just one earned run and had five strikeouts. 

On offense, Hawks sophomore Lila Hernandez and junior Nyree James were vital to win. Hernandez went 1-3, with a walk, scored a run and stole two bases; while James went 2-3 from the plate. 

Horizon will face Parrish Community High (18-8) on Thursday, May 23 at the Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont.

In the 7A, Region 2 championship, Windermere (24-3) beat Steinbrenner High (21-9), 2-1, on a walk-off hit by senior shortstop Emilie Ching in the bottom of the ninth. 

Senior pitcher Lexi King was dominant in the circle for the Wolverines, only allowing three hits through nine innings of work. King also struck out seven batters. 

Windermere will face off against another Central Florida team, Seminole High (17-7) on Friday, May 24; also in Clermont.



Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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