HomeTeam Hot Shots: Nominations for April 23-29
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, April 23 through Friday, April 29. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Taylor Finney, softball, Strawberry Crest: The sophomore shortstop had a two-run single and scored the final run in the Chargers’ 6-4 win over Orange Park Oakleaf in a Class 8A region finals. Strawberry Crest is in the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
Ashley Gonyou, track, Gulf: The junior was the lone area female athlete to win a title at the Class 2A, Region 2 meet, taking first in the 300 hurdles in 48.54 seconds, more than a second ahead of her closest competitor.
Jodi Handler, softball, Alonso: The ace allowed four hits and had six strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Orlando Timber Creek in the Class 9A region final. Handler has won seven straight and helped Alonso reach the state semifinals for the first time.
Brianna Lindner, softball, Land O’Lakes: In a Class 6A region final, the third baseman had two hits, the biggest coming in the seventh inning on a solo homer that proved to be the winner in a 1-0 victory over rival Springstead. Land O’Lakes is back in the state semifinals for the first time since 1995.
Stella Preston, softball, Countryside: The Mercer signee threw a perfect game and finished with a career-high 16 strikeouts in a 1-0 victory over Riverview in a Class 8A region final to help the Cougars reach the state semifinals for the first time since 2007.
Olivia Welsh, track, Dunedin: At the Class 3A, Region 3 meet, Welsh was a multiple champion, taking first in the 100 hurdles (14.52) and the pole vault (12-2). The Pennsylvania signee is among the top contenders for a state title in both events.
Bo Bichette, baseball, Lakewood: In the Class 5A region quarterfinal against Lemon Bay, Bichette had three walks in four at-bats. But the one time the Manta Rays pitched to Bichette he made them pay. He hit a home run, his 14th of the season, in the Spartans’ 6-5 win. He also scored four runs.
Patrick Morris, baseball, Steinbrenner: The junior LHP/1B had a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Warriors to a 3-2 region quarterfinal victory against Plant City. The Warriors will advance to next week’s region semifinal against Durant.
Andrew O’Brien, baseball, River Ridge: The senior threw nine shutout innings in the Class 6A region quarterfinal before giving up a run to Jesuit in the 10th. O’Brien, whose curveball stymied the Tigers most of the night, threw 134 pitches, allowed five hits and struck out eight in the 1-0 loss.
Brandon Schultz, track, Ridgewood: The junior swept both hurdles events at the Class 2A, Region 2 meet at Lake Minneola. He won the 110 in 15.06 seconds and the 300 in 39.29. Next stop: the state meet at IMG next weekend.
Gordon Stetson, baseball, Berkeley Prep: The junior scored the lone run in the Bucs’ Class 4A region semifinal win over Ocala Trinity Catholic. The winning run came in the sixth inning after he walked, stole second, then scored from there on a wild pitch. The outfielder also recorded the final out with the bases loaded.
Corey Yawn, baseball, Northside Christian: The sophomore went 2-for-3 with a triple and a double in the Mustangs’ 4-1 Class 3A region semifinal win over Fort Myers Evangelical Christian. Yawn also earned a save by pitching the final two innings, striking out three.
Voting is now closed.