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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

HomeTeam 25: Softball rankings for Tampa Bay

Alexa Russo leads  Tampa Catholic with a .556 batting average and 23 RBIs.

David W Doonan | Special to the Times

Alexa Russo leads Tampa Catholic with a .556 batting average and 23 RBIs.



1. Newsome (14-0)

This week: Tuesday at Plant City; Thursday at Riverview

Scoop: The Wolves continue to climb in MaxPreps’ national top 25 poll, moving up two spots to No. 3. Last week, Newsome was off for spring break. On Tuesday, the Wolves travel to play Plant City in a matchup of two of the area’s top teams. Newsome has only allowed two run in its past 10 games. Claire Feldman, one of the Wolves’ aces, has not allowed a run in her past six starts.

2. Chamberlain (14-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Freedom; Thursday at Hillsborough; Friday-Saturday at Bartow tournament

Scoop: After winning the Lady ’Canes Spring Tournament, the Chiefs took last week off. They resume play with a busy schedule, playing as many as six games this week. The biggest test will come in the Bartow tournament with an opening-round game Friday against Lake Region, ranked No. 1 in Class 8A in the latest Miracle Sports state softball poll.

3. Plant City (13-2)

This week: Tuesday vs. Newsome; Thursday vs. Bloomingdale

Scoop: The Raiders had their 10-game win streak snapped with a 9-1 loss to Sickles at Sarasota’s Spring Slamfest Tournament. The nine runs Plant City gave up were more than in its previous 10 games combined. This is another tough week of games with undefeated Newsome on Tuesday and Bloomingdale on Thursday. A win against the Bulls would clinch the top seed in Class 8A, District 6 for the Raiders.

4. Springstead (16-1)

This week: Tuesday vs. Nature Coast; Wednesday vs. Academy of the Holy Names; Thursday at Central

Scoop: The Eagles’ win streak is now at 12 after winning four games this past weekend to take the title at Hernando’s Leopard Slam Tournament. In the final, Springstead beat rival Nature Coast 1-0 to avenge its only loss of the season. Pitcher Kama Woodall threw two of the team’s three shutouts in the tournament. Abby Oliver had a clutch hit in the final.

5. Land O’Lakes (17-2-1)

This week: No games this week.

Scoop: The Gators won four games last week, including two at the Sarasota Spring Slamfest Tournament before it was called because of rain. Land O’Lakes had impressive victories over Steinbrenner and Fort Myers, which were both receiving votes in the state poll. Taylor Holt, a Rollins signee, had the 100th hit of her career against Wiregrass Ranch.

6. Nature Coast (17-2)

This week: Tuesday at Springstead

Scoop: The Sharks had their eight-game win streak end with a 1-0 loss to rival Springstead in the final of Hernando’s Leopard Slam Tournament. It was the lowest run total Nature Coast had been held to this season. On Tuesday, the Sharks have a rematch with the Eagles. The teams split their first two games this season.

7. Gaither (13-3)

This week: Tuesday at Middleton; Thursday vs. King

Scoop: After a series of tough games the first half of the season, the Cowboys were able to take it easy during spring break. Gaither eases into things this week with games and Middleton and King, which have a combined three wins. After that, the schedule gets tough, starting with a rematch against Chamberlain for the top seed in Class 7A, District 8.   

8. Countryside (14-3)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: This past week was a critical one for the Cougars, who beat Seminole to take over sole possession of first place in Class 8A, District 7 and got by St. Petersburg to clinch the top seed in the district. Countryside was led by the pitching combination of Stella Preston and Jordan Lewis, who each threw shutouts.

9. Academy of the Holy Names (13-2)

This week: Monday vs. CC Catholic; Wednesday at Springstead

Scoop: By completing the regular-season sweep of rival Tampa Catholic, the Jaguars clinched the top seed in the Class 4A, District 4 tournament. AHN has been dominant in both games against the Crusaders, outscoring them by a combined 18-4. Katie Hale leads the team offensively with a .579 average and 20 RBIs.

10. Steinbrenner (10-4)

This week: Tuesday at Bloomingdale; Thursday vs. Plant

Scoop: The Warriors lost to Land O’Lakes in the opening round of the Sarasota Spring SlamFest Tournament, ending their three-game win streak. Steinbrenner already has clinched the top seed in Class 8A, District 5 and finished undefeated in district play with a win against Plant.

11. Sickles (11-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Durant; Thursday at Robinson

Scoop: The Gryphons are at their best in tournaments. They won the Lake Mary tournament at the beginning of the season and were 2-0 at last week’s Sarasota Slamfest, outscoring DeSoto and Plant City by a combined 24-1. Leadoff hitter Morgan Noah is hitting .423.

12. Seminole (10-3)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: A week ago, the Warhawks had the top record in Pinellas County at 9-1. That was before losing to Countryside and Canterbury and needing eight innings to pull out a win against Pinellas Park. The loss to the Cougars dropped Seminole out of first place in Class 8A, District 7. Jordan Day (.538) and Marilyn Mass (.452) have the top batting averages on the team.

13. Tampa Catholic (14-6-1)

This week: Monday vs. Brooks DeBartolo; Tuesday vs. Seffner Christian

Scoop: The Crusaders put together a tough schedule in hopes of challenging Academy of the Holy Names for the top spot in Class 4A, District 4. But Tampa Catholic was swept by its rival and drops to the No. 2 seed. Alexa Russo is hitting .556 with 23 RBIs.

14. Mitchell (14-3)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: Last week’s win against Northeast extended the Mustangs’ win streak to eight games and clinched the top seed in the Class 7A, District 10 tournament. Mitchell’s three losseshave all been by a run. They have reached double digits in runs in six of their last seven games.

15. Strawberry Crest (9-6)

This week: Thursday vs. Wharton; Friday-Saturday at Home of Champions Tournament.

Scoop: The Chargers went 3-0 at the Sarasota Slamfest Tournament, beating Alonso, Hardee and Naples Gulf Coast. Strawberry Crest might have played in the championship game had the tournament not been cut short because of rain. Kasey Locke is hitting .500 with 17 RBIs and two home runs.

16. River Ridge (11-6)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: At last week’s Leopard Slam Tournament, the Royal Knights went 2-1, beating Weeki Wachee and Winter Park Trinity Prep and losing to Nature Coast. River Ridge has not been able to find any consistency since starting 4-0, going 7-6 in its past 13 games.

17. Riverview (9-5)

This week: Thursday vs. Newsome

Scoop: The Sharks lost three straight, including  pair of one-run defeats to Plant City and Plant. By losing to the Raiders, Riverview fell to second place in the Class 8A, District 6 standings. On Saturday, Riverview will have a memorial at the field for beloved coach Angela Slater, who died in January after a year-long battle with cancer.

18. East Lake (10-6-1)

This week: No games this week.

Scoop: It was a good week for the Eagles, who beat rival Palm Harbor University and Christian Academy of Knoxville. No games this week, but when East Lake returns it has a tough stretch with matchups against Pinellas Park and Seminole that will determine if the Eagles can get the No. 2 seed in Class 8A, District 7.

19. Plant (8-7)

This week: Tuesday at Alonso; Thursday at Steinbrenner; Friday-Saturday at Bartow’s Tournament of Champions.

Scoop: Rested after a week off for spring break, the Panthers will try to carry over the momentum of two straight wins to close out the Lady ’Canes Spring Tournament two weeks ago. Thursday’s game against Steinbrenner wraps up regular-season play in Class 8A, District 5.

20. Alonso (9-4)

This week: Tuesday vs. Plant

Scoop: The Ravens lost to Strawberry Crest and host Sarasota at the Spring Slamfest Tournament. It was the first time Alonso had lost consecutive games since mid February. Jessica Louth is hitting .500 and Caila Weisman has 14 RBIs.

21. Palm Harbor University (12-9)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: The Hurricanes split their two games last week, losing to East Lake and beating Tarpon Springs. Against the Spongers, freshman Mia Buffano had two hits, including a home run. PHU resumes play March 29 at home against Seminole.

22. Sunlake (12-7)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: The Seahawks completed a season sweep of Osceola and have all but clinched the No. 2 seed in the Class 7A, District 10 tournament. Gianna Basilone continues to show off her power and now has home runs to go along with 28 RBIs.

23. Osceola (13-6)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: By beating Dixie Hollins, the Warriors clinched a spot in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game. But the defending district champions will have to take a harder route to get back to the playoffs after getting swept by Sunlake and dropping to the No. 3 seed in Class 7A, District 10.

24. East Bay (9-11)

This week: Thursday at Durant

Scoop: The Indians had their five-game win streak snapped and dropped below .500 again after going 1-3 at a tournament in Daytona Beach this past weekend. At 1-5 in the Class 8A, District 6 standings, East Bay will have to play spoiler with games against Durant and Plant City in the next two weeks.

25. Durant (7-8)

This week: Tuesday at Sickles; Thursday vs. East Bay; Friday-Saturday at Bartow’s Tournament of Champions

Scoop: After starting 6-1, the Cougars have lost seven of their past eight. A 12-1 win over Bloomingdale two weeks ago snapped a six-game losing streak. Sloan Hammons continues to play well, hitting a team-high .447 with nine RBIs. Durant closes out district play with Thursday’s game against East Bay.

On the bubble: Wharton (8-6), Gulf (13-2), Freedom (6-6), Berkeley Prep (10-6), Cambridge Christian (8-3), Pinellas Park (7-6), Tarpon Springs (8-6), Zephyrhills (8-8), Canterbury (5-8), Admiral Farragut (11-2), Northside Christian (9-5)

[Last modified: Monday, March 21, 2016 11:57am]


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