MSD Baseball and Softball Win 1st Regional Game; Girls Lacrosse And Track Compete in Regionals
Niko Benestad and Addison Zajkowsi. {Vale Sandoval and Jake Stephens}

By: Matt Rothman

Marjory Stoneman Douglas had another incredible season of high school athletics.

The baseball team looks to continue their run to a third straight State Championship after beating Monarch High School in their opening Regional playoff game after winning a District Championship

The night was all about Christian Rodriguez and Niko Benestad. Rodriguez pitched five innings to earn the win and hit a two-run home run to jump-start a nine-run third inning. Benestad also hit a grand slam to end the game in MSD’s 14-1 victory. Rylan Lujo had three RBIs, while Alex RodriguezDevin Fitz-Gerald, and Jackson Abram also knocked in runs. The Eagles are 25-0 and set to play J.P. Taravella on Saturday at 6 p.m.

MSD Baseball and Softball Win 1st Regional Game; Girls Lacrosse And Track Compete in Regionals
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Baseball honors their Seniors. {Vale Sandoval}

The  Marjory Stoneman Douglas softball team won their first Regional playoffs game. They beat Palmetto High School 3-1 to move to 18-6 this year. Jesyne Espinal pitched a complete game, allowing only one run and striking out 11. Kayleigh Cuccia, Kylah Davis, and Maddy Kirk all drove in runs, while Olivia Alvarez had a pair of hits, including a double. Next, they will play Spanish River Community High School on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Sharks beat Western High School in their opening Regional game after the Wildcats beat MSD in both the Big-8 Semifinals and District Championship Game. 

The girls lacrosse team finished another incredible season with a trip to the Regional Final. The Eagles went 10-3 in the regular season and then made the District Championship following their win over Park Vista Community High School. Despite falling to Boca Raton Community High School in the final, the Eagles qualified for Regionals and won 12-10 over Palmetto High School before falling again to the Bobcats in the Regional Semifinals. 

The 12 wins for the Eagles were the most they have had since going 16-5 in 2019. Taylor McGovern finished with a team-high 79 goals, 76 assists and will return for her senior season next year. Kaitlin Irwin finished second on the team with 44 goals, while Carley Resnick had 37. 

Raina Grimes and Stephanie Bilsky combined for 46 goals, with the defense shining all year, allowing only less than ten goals per game. Head Coach Scott Iardella says coaching this team has been incredible, and what the girls accomplished with the adversity they faced was amazing. 

MSD Baseball and Softball Win 1st Regional Game; Girls Lacrosse And Track Compete in Regionals
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Girls Lacrosse. {Sara Dorfman}

“We had to adjust to playing our Regional seminal without two key starters,” Head Coach Scott Iardella said. “I’m so proud of these girls. It’s hard to put into words. I hope they remember this great season forever and what a strong foundation they have moving forward into next season.”

In track and field, the boys did not have anyone advance to States. However,  James Bronzwaig finished eighth in the discus, and tenth in the javelin, with Emery Jackson in ninth in the high jump.

The girls had several players finish in sixth, including Kyanne Meredith and Nina Duggan. Neima Bien-Aime, Nina Duggan, Naomi Grissette, and Samara Osouna also finished sixth in the 4 x 100 relay, while Sparta Koumoutsaki picked up two points after placing seventh in the 1600 meters.

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Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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