High school softball ‘22: Baldwin, Middleburg reach 1st state semifinal games

It was a very good night for area high school softball teams.

Baldwin and Middleburg are bound for the state semifinals for the first time ever.

The Indians used an all-around effort from Piper Young to edge Keystone Heights 3-2 in the Region 1-3A final on Thursday night. Baldwin (26-2) had been the News4JAX Super 6 No. 1 team most of the season but had never been past the second round of the playoffs before.

Now, they’ll play Wednesday at Legend’s Way Ballfield in Clermont to try an advance to their first title game. Baldwin will learn of its opponent once the FHSAA reseeds final four teams.

Young took care of that with a superb performance in the pitcher’s circle and one big swing to send Baldwin onward.

With Baldwin down 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Young stepped to the plate and launched a shot over the left field wall to give the host Indians a 2-1 lead. They added an insurance run that inning that proved huge. Delia Johnson belted a homer for Keystone (19-10) to get the visiting Indians within a run, but Young and Baldwin closed them out after that.

Region 1-5A

Mallory Forrester whiffed 19 and visiting Middleburg edged Tallahassee Lincoln 2-1 in 13 innings to reach the Class 5A state semifinals next Thursday in Clermont.

Forrester scattered four hits across the distance for the Broncos, who will learn of their opponent when the FHSAA reseeds the final four teams.

Maisy Campbell scored when Kaelyn Hagan reached on an error with two outs in the top of the 13th. Forrester then sat down the side in order to push the Broncos into the final four. Gwen McGinnis had 23 strikeouts and walked just one in the loss.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.