The Niceville softball team will have a few more days to scout its 7A Final Four opponent.
The Eagles (21-6) learned on Thursday that their matchup against Viera (26-1) has been postponed for the second time due to severe weather, the latest update slotting the powerhouses for a 1:35 p.m. (EST) matchup on Tuesday at Historic Dodgertown. A victory over a Viera crew that's won 13 straight would shore up a second straight finals appearance for the Eagles at 3:05 p.m. Wednesday against the winner of reigning state champion Fort Myers (28-2) and Pembroke Pines Charter (24-5).
Rocky Bayou, meanwhile, is still set to play Cornerstone Charter (19-10) on Monday in a 3A semifinal matchup at 3:35 p.m. Win and the Knights will face the victor of John Carroll (12-11) and Admiral Farragut (17-5) in Wednesday’s title game at 4:35 p.m.
Niceville and Rocky Bayou will make the eight-hour trek south with disparate track records at state.
Rocky Bayou (20-1) is making its first Final Four appearance after beating St. Johns Country Day 6-0 for the program's first regional crown. The Knights have won 15 straight since an 8-7 loss to North Florida Christian on March 5 and have outscored opponents 22-1 in the regional playoffs.
Niceville (21-6), meanwhile, is making its fifth Final Four trip in the last eight years. The Eagles won it all in 2011 and are 3-1 during that span in the state semifinals. They enter Saturday on a five-game win streak with a 29-4 run differential in the regional playoffs.
Both Rocky Bayou and Niceville have depth in the batter's circle and an ace on the mound.
Led by UF commitment Sam Roe's .620 batting average, seven Knights are batting .377 or above. Roe's eight homers and 45 RBI lead the Knights, while Alicyn Grete is batting .569 with a team-best 43 runs to accent 23 RBI, three homers and 13 extra-base hits.
Grete has tossed every game for the Knights with four no-hitters, a perfect game and a 1.07 ERA.
Niceville has the reigning Hitters of the Year in Sydney Byrd and Grace McIntosh, joined by hard outs like Katie Lightfoot, Blake Eslinger, Raiven Bryant, Michaela Brocato, Riley Gibson and Carley Kidder, and depth in the pitcher's circle with Mikhala Hampton, Katelynn Inness and Emma Langston.