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Baldwin, Episcopal, West Nassau leads the first round winners
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Baldwin, Episcopal, West Nassau leads the first round winners

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The high school softball playoffs have begun and the region’s top teams are all advancing.

Baldwin, Episcopal and West Nassau all won in the ultra-competitive Region 1-3A, posting victories in the opening round. Defending Class 2A state champion University Christian scored 19 runs in the second inning en route to a 21-2 romp against St. Joseph in three innings. Trinity Christian and Providence also earned mercy rule wins in Region 1-2A.

Wednesday was the first of two nights in the opening round of the playoffs. Teams in Classes 1A, 5A, 6A and 7A will play their opener on Thursday.

In 1-3A, Grace Jones smoked 10 and Episcopal (24-3) broke things open with a four-run fifth inning in a 10-0 win over Keystone Heights. The Eagles advance to host West Nassau, who got three hits from Reese Green and a pair of RBIs from Sydney English to defeat Suwannee 6-2.

Super 6 No. 1 Baldwin got home runs from Jazmine Ramos-Merced and Cal Hartung to beat Palatka 8-2. Shaylen Byrd smoked seven for the Indians (27-1), who were on a collision course with Episcopal of West Nassau for a spot in the state semifinals. Baldwin will host Marianna on Tuesday.

UC got home runs from Jaleigha Harris and Sophia Kardatzke as part of a 10 extra-base hit game to cruise past St. Joseph. Christian will host Trinity Christian on Tuesday. The Conquerors got a homer from Jordyn Lasater and multi-RBI games from four other players to roll St. Johns Country Day 15-0. Madelyn Lasater struck out six and fired a one-hitter in the circle for Trinity.

In Region 1-4A, Baker County topped Yulee 7-2 in Region 1-4A and will stay home for Tuesday’s second round against South Walton. Chloe Johnson drove in three runs with a double and Baleigh Shields went 3 for 4 to lead the Wildcats’ attack. Chloe Woods and Rylee Walker combined for 10 strikeouts in the circle.

Wednesday’s results

Regional quarterfinals

Region 1-4A

(1) Wakulla 10, (8) Menendez 0

(5) Paxon (15-9) at (4) West Florida (16-11), late

(2) Baker County 7, (7) Yulee 2

Region 1-3A

(8) Palatka (11-15) and (1) Baldwin (26-1)

(2) Episcopal 10, (7) Keystone Heights 0

(3) West Nassau 6, (6) Suwannee 2

Region 1-2A

(1) University Christian 21, (8) St. Joseph 2

(4) Trinity Christian 15, (5) St. Johns Landdag 0

(2) Providence 16, (7) Rural Christian 5

Tuesday games

Regional semi-finals

Region 1-4A

(6) South Walton (10-10) at (2) Baker County (18-5)

Region 1-3A

(5) Marianna (17-8) and (1) Baldwin (27-1)

(3) West Nassau (17-8) at (2) Episcopal (24-3)

Region 1-2A

(4) Trinity Christian (9-12) at (1) University Christian (16-7)

(6) North Florida Christian (9-14) at (2) Providence (10-12)

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