High school softball ‘23: Baldwin, University Christian power into state semifinals

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Baldwin and University Christian are headed back to the state softball final four.

The Indians jumped on Episcopal early and rolled to a 9-2 win over the Eagles in Region 1-3A. Jazmine Ramos-Merced homered for the Indians (25-4), who will be making their second straight trip to Clermont. They’ll play on Tuesday.

UC, the No. 1 team in the News4JAX Super 6, handled Episcopal 8-3 in Region 1-2A. The Christians will face Foundation Academy in the state semifinals Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Sophia Kardatzke homered and drove in three runs, Jaleigha Harris knocked in four and UC (21-2) barreled into the 2A state semifinals with a championship on its mind. The Christians have finished as state runners-up in 2021 and ‘22. It lost to St. Pete Canterbury in the first trip and to Orlando’s First Academy last year.

Kardatzke remains a menace in the circle, too. The junior whiffed 14 in the win. She will make her fourth appearance in the state semifinals. Kardatzke and Harris were both seventh graders on the 2019 UC team that reached the final four.

The season’s ended for Baker County and Ridgeview.

The Wildcats went on the road and couldn’t generate any offense in a 2-0 loss to Wakulla in Region 1-4A. And Ridgeview couldn’t slow down second-seeded Deltona in an 11-3 loss in 1-5A.

Regional finals

Friday’s results

Region 1-5A

(2) Deltona 11, (4) Ridgeview 3

Region 1-4A

(1) Wakulla 2, (2) Baker County 0

Region 1-3A

(1) Baldwin 9, (3) Episcopal 2

Region 1-2A

(1) University Christian 8, (2) Providence 3

State semifinals

at Legends Way, Clermont

Monday, May 22

Class 2A

University Christian (21-2) vs. Foundation Academy (14-9), 4:30

Tuesday, May 23

Class 3A

Baldwin (25-4) vs. TBA

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.