By:  J. Daniel Pearson

Addison Felblinger pitched a one-hitter and Savanah Barlow drove in four runs to lead the St. Cloud Bulldogs to an impressive 13-0 win over rival Osceola in the semifinals of the 2024 Orange Belt Conference Tournament on Tuesday night.

The win lifted St. Cloud 9-10 on the season and set up a Friday night showdown with Harmony – another major rival – for the OBC title.  The Longhorns advanced on Tuesday with an equally impressive 16-1 win over Tohopekaliga.

St. Cloud, which won four out of five softball championships from 2015-19, will be looking for its first OBC crown in five years, Harmony last won in 2022.  “You never know until the games are played but I felt all along that we would have to go through our two biggest rivals to win,” St. Cloud coach Ray Whobrey said.  “We will definitely need the same effort on Friday that we got tonight.”

Felblinger, a sophomore, was dominant in the win over the Kowboys.  She allowed just a fourth inning double to Faith Ferrer; while walking two and striking out six – including four of the last five batters she faced.  Felblinger allowed just two balls out of the infield in her five innings of work.

“She wants to be a division one player and I think that’s a realistic goal,” Whobrey said of his budding young star.  “She did a great job of mixing her pitches tonight and just got stronger as the game went on.”

While Felblinger was dominating, the St. Cloud bats were red hot.  A two-run bloop double by Shyenne Hawkins and an inside-the-park home run by  Leah McLaughlin would stake Felblinger to a 4-0 lead after one inning. 

St. Cloud tacked on three more in the second, as Kacey Pagan upped the lead to 5-0 with a solo home run before Felblinger delivered an RBI double and Barlow added a run scoring triple.  Barlow would add a bases-loaded double in the third as St. Cloud sent 11 batters to the plate and added six more runs to their total.

For the game, every member of the St. Cloud starting lineup collected at least one hit – as the Bulldogs finished with 13 hits including two each by Hawkins, Barlow, Felblinger and Brooke Scott.   

The game was a far cry from St. Cloud’s 2-1 win over Osceola three weeks ago, when the Bulldogs managed just one hit and had to rely on two unearned runs in the win.  “The big difference tonight was that our hitters were finding the holes and gaps,” Whobrey added. “We hit some balls hard in that first game but Miranda’s (Osceola coach Miranda Watford) defense was really stout.”

Harmony used 12 hits and took advantage of five Tigers errors in their big win over Tohopekaliga to advance to Friday’s championship game.  Lindsey Green collected three hits, drove in three runs, hit a home run and pitched a two-hitter to lead the Longhorns. Sarah Rothell and Natalie Booth also had three RBI each for Harmony.

The softball final will not be St. Cloud’s only chance for an OBC title on Friday night.  Both the Bulldogs baseball team and boys; volleyball team won semifinal games on Tuesday night and will also play for OBC Championships on Friday.

With a pair of shutouts over Gateway (8-0) and Osceola (2-0), St. Cloud’s baseball team (11-6 on season) will host Harmony (11-8) on Friday for the OBC crown.  The top-seeded Longhorns reached the final with a 10-0 win over Liberty in the quarterfinals and an 8-2 win over Tohopekaliga in the semifinals.  It will be a rematch of last week’s regular season game won by Harmony, 6-4.

St. Cloud boys’ volleyball (13-5) will give the Bulldogs a chance to win three OBC crowns on Friday night when they play Tohopekaliga at Gateway.   St. Cloud advanced to the finals with a 25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 25-11 four-set win over Harmony.  The Dogs will face the fourth-seeded Tigers that upset #2 Celebration on Tuesday night.

OBC Championship Week Results

OBC Softball

Monday Quarterfinals

  • Harmony 15, Gateway 0
  • Tohopekaliga 10, Poinciana 0
  • Osceola 15, Liberty 0
  • St. Cloud 19, Celebration 0

Tuesday Semifinals

  • Harmony 16, Tohopekaliga 1
  • St. Cloud  13, Osceola 0

Friday’s Championship

  • Harmony vs. St. Cloud (at Celebration) 7 p.m.

OBC Baseball

Monday Quarterfinals

  • Harmony 10, Liberty 0
  • Tohopekaliga 18, Celebration 0
  • St. Cloud 8, Gateway 0
  • Osceola 13, Poinciana 0

Tuesday Semifinals

  • Harmony 8, Tohopekaliga 2
  • St. Cloud 2, Osceola 0

Friday’s Championship

  • Harmony at St. Cloud, 7 p.m.

OBC Boys Volleyball

Monday Quarterfinals

  • St. Cloud, bye
  • Harmony 3, Gateway 0 
  • Celebration 3, Liberty 0
  • Tohopekaliga 3, Poinciana 2

Tuesday’s Semifinals

  • St. Cloud 3, Harmony 1
  • Tohopekaliga 3, Celebration 2

Friday’s Championship

  • St. Cloud vs. Tohopekaliga (at Gateway) 7p.m.