PINELLAS PARK - Everyone expected Seminole to win the Class 5A, District 10 final.
Everyone, that is, except Northeast.
The Vikings pulled off a huge upset 3-1, ending the Warhawks' run of three consecutive titles and winning their first title in 10 years.
"No one even thought we'd be in this game, let alone win it," Northeast coach Holli Yates said. "We just wanted it more."
Sophomore Dani Seibert (9-1) held the Warhawks to three hits while walking none and striking out three. Their only run was unearned as Seibert lowered her ERA to 0.34.
"Coach Yates told me to be aggressive but smart," Seibert said. "I worked the corners, stayed outside and tried to get ahead in the count."
The Vikings (14-3) took an early lead against Liz Milhan, who pitched a no-hitter against Pinellas Park on Wednesday. A single by Haley Forsyth and a sacrifice bunt by Alicia Dennis led to a run-scoring double by Seibert. Seibert went to third on the throw, and Lindsay McGory, who had the winning hit in the semifinals against Boca Ciega, then hit a slow roller to second. Seibert slid under the tag to make it 2-0. Two more singles loaded the bases, but Milhan escaped by retiring the next two batters.
"We were actually pretty excited to go against (Milhan) because she's a fastball pitcher," McGory said. "We're a fastpitch hitting team, and we get frustrated when we have to face slower pitchers."
In the second, Milhan, who worked three days in a row, walked the leadoff hitter, No.9 hitter Brittany Dubois. A sacrifice bunt by Forsyth moved Dubois to second, and Seibert again produced a run-scoring double, smashing the ball deep over the head of centerfielder Shannan Tyson.
Seminole manufactured a run in the fourth to make it 3-1.
Then it threatened in the sixth. Shortstop Christal Kotchman reached on an infield hit. But she was thrown out stealing on a pitchout.
"We knew (Kotchman) was a fast runner," catcher Mikala Smith. said. "We were pumped up after that."
After an out and a triple, Jen Taeuber lined a pitch to the gap in left-center. But leftfielder Stephanie Davies snared it on the run.
Seibert then worked a perfect seventh to end it.