Festival of Chocolate 2012
The Festival of Chocolate took place at the UCF Arena Friday, April 27, through Sunday, April 29.
Hopes for a postseason run came to a shocking end on April 25 as the Winter Park Wildcats fell 3-2 in the first round of district play on the baseball diamond.
The Wildcats had entered the game as the top seed in the five-team Class 8A District 5 tournament, with high hopes of a strong showing after not losing to a district rival since the start of the season. Their 6-1 record was tied for tops in the district.
University entered the game near the district basement and with a 2-5 district record, giving the Wildcats a strong advantage by the numbers.
Those numbers were quickly thrown out the window by University starting ace Patrick Stephens, who dominated the Wildcats from the mound and the plate.
He would pitch the entire game en route to a four-hit win while teeing off on Wildcat pitching with a pair of singles, a double and an RBI that led to the difference in the game. The Cougars would go on to place runner up in the district with a spot in the regional playoffs after losing in the final round. For the Wildcats, the season ended before the real postseason could begin.
Eagles soar in districts
With only a middling record entering the playoffs, the Edgewater Eagles didn’t have much promise on paper, unless you counted their 7-2 district record.
Leveraging their dominance in regular season play, they bamboozled district foes Pine Ridge and Seabreeze to take the Class 6A District 8 crown in style. They caused a mercy rule finish in a five-inning 11-1 trouncing of Pine Ridge in the first round, thanks to a four-run rally in the fifth to end the game early.
On April 26 they had a bigger challenge in the final round against Seabreeze, who had just shocked Mainland to make it to the district championship. A game-winning blast by Adrian Henry pushed the Eagles past Seabreeze 5-4 to take the championship.
They travel to face Eau Gallie Thursday, May 3, in Melbourne for the first round of regional play.
Wildcats win in the water
Helped by returning senior captain Kelly Martin, the Wildcats girls water polo team dominated the water through five rounds of state championship tournament play before reaching their nemesis, Ransom Everglades. The Wildcats lit off on a playoff tear after trashing Edgewater 17-1 in the first round.
Martin, who committed to Michigan to play water polo, led her team back into a third-time grudge match against Ransom, whom they’d beaten earlier this season.
But in two previous state championships, the Wildcats had fallen short. With Ashleigh Johnson at goal, Ransom had a national-caliber player in the most important spot in the game.
That paid off for Ransom, which kept a lead against Winter Park for most of the game. At one point the Wildcats were gaining with the help of Martin’s goals that put them within 8-5 in the waning minutes of the game, but the Wildcats fell short for the third straight year.
The boys team also launched into a promising postseason with a trouncing of Edgewater by a 19-5 margin in the first round of the regionals, making their way all the way to the state semifinals against St. Thomas Aquinas. St. Thomas had only allowed one team into the double digits in the postseason.
The Wildcats managed 12 points in the game, but fell to St. Thomas’ 16, ending their postseason run.