Photo courtesy 2019 MSD Lady Eagles Softball.

Matt Rothman

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Lady Eagles softball team finished the regular season in a very unique way: with a record of 11-10. However, at conference they finished with a perfect 8-0 record.

With extreme confidence heading into the 2019 season, Coach Sal Vacirca scheduled one of the toughest schedules in recent memory playing against some of the top teams in the state of Florida.

The three non-conference wins came against Academy at the Lakes, Coral Glades and Cypress Bay. In conference play, MSD went unbeaten, out-scoring the opposition 87-5 in six games with two other games ending in a Lady Eagles win by forfeit. 

Despite the dominance, Coach Vacirca knows the importance of taking care of districts before they can move on to regionals. 

“We call it taking care of business. District is where we call it a new season. Our season starts Tuesday. I think we are peaking at the right time. The girls are buying into what we are trying to do, and hopefully we continue to play solid softball.”

On the mound, the Lady Eagles are led by Sam Diaz, a junior and sophomores Julie Van Arsdale and Jess Magee. Diaz has appeared in 11 games this year with a 7-1 record. She has given up just 19 earned runs in 50.2 innings pitched.

Magee has contributed to a win as well with a 3.68 earned run average and Van Arsdale has pitched a bit in late innings registering a save in four appearances.

Offensively, MSD is hitting .395 with six players hitting over .400. Monique Poitevin, who will be continuing her softball career next year at Pensacola University, leads the team with two home runs and tied for the team lead with 17 runs batted in. 

Jordan Ratner is the other Lady Eagle with 17 RBI’s and both her and Queens College recruit, Cyarra Alvarado have the other two home runs for MSD. Alvarado also has a .462 batting average which is second on the team. 

Junior Amanda Gomez has that honor at .463. To go along with that, Gomez has swiped 12 of the teams 43 stolen bases as the Eagles have been aggressive all year on the base path. 

“This season has been going really well,” Gomez said. “I have to keep it up. I can’t stop. My confidence has been really good and it can’t go down now.”

MSD has three other players who are committed to play at the next level. Kacey Bartley, the leader in doubles, will play next year at Miami Dayton, Andrea Tovar will be attending Florida Tech University and Juliana Campos will be at ASA College. 

Despite the success of the team, it has still been a difficult season after the school shooting  in Parkland.

“This season has been no picnic here at this school,” said Coach Vacirca. “They have gone through a lot this year and keep fighting and they keep showing up. So as long as they show up, I will show up.”

With the top seed in the district, the Lady Eagles will have a bye in the quarterfinals and will face the winner of J.P. Taravella and Deerfield Beach Tuesday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. MSD shutout J.P. Taravella 18-0 and 16-0 earlier this season. They also beat Deerfield beach 15-0 before winning by forfeit in their second meeting. 

On the other side of the bracket, Monarch will be facing Coral Springs with the winner likely playing against the Lady Eagles on Thursday in the district championship.