NEW PORT RICHEY - On paper, everything seemed to line up Springstead's way.
The Lady Eagles captured nine of their final 10 regular-season tilts, secured the second seed in the Class 6A, District 10 Tournament, and were facing a Seminole-Osceola squad they had beaten twice already.
That left veteran head coach Craig Swartout all the more exasperated has he attempted to explain the events of Wednesday's 6A-10 semifinal, a loss to the third-seeded Lady Warriors, 14-4.
It's the second straight season the Lady Eagles (14-10) have gone down in a district semi, after falling 8-7 to Citrus in eight innings last year.
"Of course it's disappointing," Swartout said. "I don't know what it is. We haven't done some of this stuff all year and then it seems like the last two years in the district tournament we forget what got us there.
"When you kick it around and you give a team three or four runs in the first inning; that was unfortunately a sign of things to come. Defensively we didn't play very well, and I don't know how many runners we left on base but it had to be bunches."
Within minutes of the start, Osceola (12-13) had built a comfortable advantage, and it should have been worse if not for an unusual situation.
After two quick flyouts, the Lady Warrior strung together four straight hits, the last two doubles by Hannah Ciatto and Rae Piscitello to plate three runs.
An error kept the inning alive, and Lindsey Hall ripped another two-bagger to right that easily scored a pair - or so it appeared. Instead, the first runner was called out for missing home plate and failing to get back and touch before the second runner crossed.
The Lady Eagles got one back in the bottom half as Louisa Disi drove in a run on a single, and seemed poised to rally back with the bases loaded and one out in the third.
But a strikeout and fly ball to center ended the threat with no further damage, and Katie Newman's two-run single in the fourth made it 5-1.
Each team scored twice in the sixth, Osceola on a delayed double steal and a double by Newman, and Springstead on an error and a force out.
Then the Lady Warriors blew the doors off in the seventh, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring seven times.
Newman ended up 3-for-5 with four runs batted in, and Piscitello had three hits and three RBI.
Senior Brittny Desmond had two doubles for the Lady Eagles, one that plated a run in the bottom of the seventh.
"It's disappointing, but we'll get better and we'll be back and we'll see what happens," Swartout said. "As a coach, you kind of evaluate things as how the season finished. I'm just disappointed, and I'll go home and think about what I could have done different and try not to make those mistakes next year."
Seminole-Osceola 14, Springstead 4
123 456 7 R H E
OSC 300 202 7 - 14 16 4
SPG 100 002 1 - 4 8 3
OSC - Huskey and Wallace.
SPG - Disi and Fischbach.
W - Huskey. L - Disi (14-8).
2B - Ciatto, Piscitello, Hall, Newman (OSC); Desmond 2 (SPG).
3B - none.
HR - none.
Records - Seminole-Osceola (12-13), Springstead (14-10).