FORT MYERS — There was quite a bit of controversy at Riverdale as the Raiders hosted Naples in a Class 6A regional quarterfinal Thursday night.
With Naples leading 2-1 with one on and one out in the bottom of the fifth, Riverdale’s Colleen Helveston mashed what appeared to be a game-tying double to center. But Naples coach Robert Iamurri noticed that Megan Reno, who had reached on an error, apparently didn’t tag third base on her way home.
Iamurri immediately appealed, and Reno was called out, infuriating Raiders coach Bill McChesney and the hometown fans. When play finally resumed, Hayley Pinterich got a strikeout to end the threat and District 14 runner-up Naples eventually moved to the regional semifinals with a 3-1 win.
The Golden Eagles picked up their third run when Hayley Delashmet’s two-out single in the seventh scored Taylor Manning, who also singled.
“It was right there, and I saw it,” Iamurri said. “If she tagged it, she barely got it. I’m glad we scored the last run in the last inning. That at least took that out of it. Now, does that take momentum away? Sure. But we paid attention to it. It was close enough, obviously, for me to appeal it real fast and the ump was sitting right there and, fortunately for me, he saw the same thing I saw.”
McChesney, who was later warned, declined to comment, saying, “I don’t want to get fined.”
Naples (21-5) will play at District 14 champion Barron Collier at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Cougars, who beat Fort Myers, 3-1, at home Thursday, have won two of the three meetings this season.
District 13 champ Riverdale finished its season 16-10.
After Naples left the bases loaded in the first, Riverdale got a run from Jessica Kobie after a two-out Hannah Anderson fly ball was dropped in the bottom of the inning.
Naples went up 2-1 in the third on singles by Courtney Hogrefe, Kelly Olson and Pinterich, and a sacrifice fly from Ellie Rushing.
Pinterich went the distance and got the win as Naples outhit Riverdale 8-4. Hogrefe and Olson each had two hits to lead the Golden Eagles. Riley Caylor took the loss.
Naples was playing without its regular third baseman and right fielder, both of whom had the flu.
“We told them tonight, since we weren’t at full-strength, when you bend a little bit and let people get on base, try not to break and give up a run,” Iamurri said.
NAPLES 3, RIVERDALE 1
NHS 002 000 1 — 3 8 2
RD 100 000 0 — 1 4 1
Pinterich and Olson. Caylor and Conner. WP — Pinterich. LP — Caylor. 2B — Helveston (RD).