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PECS students earn softball championship with Osceola Middle

Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School students, from left, Hannah Platt, Tehya Nunez, Truley Osceola, Joleyne Nunez, Ila Trueblood and Kiera Snell are all smiles after they won the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship with the Osceola Middle School team April 12, 2022, in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

VERO BEACH – The lengthy drives at the end of their academic day to play softball for another school 30 miles from the Brighton Reservation proved to be worth the effort for six Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School students.

With no softball offered at PECS due to the pandemic, Joleyne Nunez, Tehya Nunez, Truley Osceola, Hannah Platt, Kiera Snell and Ila Trueblood spent their winter and early spring as members of the Osceola Middle School team in Okeechobee.

“As soon as they get out of school, their parents bring them straight over to Osceola [Middle School]. All of them are super committed, which is nice,” said Osceola coach Lauren Throop.

PECS student Hannah Platt delivers a pitch for Osceola Middle School in the Indian River Conference softball championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)

The PECS students comprised nearly half of the roster and played a significant role in helping Osceola generate a successful season. Osceola lost only one game and was seeded No. 1 in the conference tournament. It wrapped up the season by winning the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship April 12 at Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. Throop said the 8-3 win against Imagine School of Vero Beach was the best game her team played all season.

Platt, who started in the circle, and Lilly Larson, who came on in relief, combined for the win.

“Hannah did a great job – she only gave up three runs – and Lilly came in and closed it out. Lily threw a great game,” Throop said.

Trailing 3-2, Osceola didn’t show any nerves. Its bench remained upbeat and confident.

The PECS players paved the way for a six-run fourth inning that helped secure the victory. Catcher Truley Osceola, who ended an Imagine threat in the second inning by throwing out a runner at second, ignited the squad with a leadoff double. She stole third and scored on an error to knot the score at 3-3. It proved to be the spark her team needed.

A strong at-bat from Snell – who fouled off a few two-strike pitches before earning a walk – led to an RBI single from Platt that put Osceola ahead for good.

Trueblood, who was the game’s defensive star with two tough catches at shortstop, delivered at the plate with a two-run hit to shallow center that made it 6-3.

“She’s been coming in clutch a lot this year,” Throop said.

Later, cleanup batter Joleyne Nunez beat out an infield hit that brought home the game’s final run. She also scored the game’s first run after belting a double in the second inning.

In early April, Nunez earned the Okeechobee News’ Big Lake Athlete of the Week honors.

“Joleyne has been really big in the four spot all season,” Throop said.

Second baseman Tehya Nunez also had a hit.

With the anticipated return of sports to PECS next academic year, Throop said she realizes she may be coaching against some of the same girls who were on her team this year. Truley Osceola is an eighth grader who will be headed to high school, but the other five from PECS are seventh graders. Throop said she enjoyed getting to know the PECS players and their parents.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said.

The 2022 Indian River Conference champion Osceola Middle School softball team. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student Truley Osceola sprints to second base on a double for Osceola Middle School in the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student Ila Trueblood delivers a two-run hit for Osceola Middle School in the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. Osceola won 8-3. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student Joleyne Nunez gets ready to score a run for Osceola Middle School in the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. Osceola won 8-3. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student Tehya Nunez makes solid contact for Osceola Middle School in its 8-3 win against Imagine School in the Indian River Conference middle school championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student and Osceola Middle School catcher Truley Osceola waits for a throw during the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student Joleyne Nunez hits the ball hard during an at-bat for Osceola Middle School in the Indian River Conference middle school championship game against Imagine School on April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
PECS student Truley Osceola handles a high pitch for Osceola Middle School in the Indian River Conference middle school softball championship game April 12, 2022, at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach. (Photo Kevin Johnson)
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Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at kevinjohnson@semtribe.com.
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