HomeTeam Hot Shots
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers will nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. These nominations span Saturday, April 20 through Friday, April 26. Winners get a free T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in the area. Read up on what made our nominees stand out then look for our writers’ picks for overall winners in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay Times.
Sandra Akachukwu, Freedom track: The senior repeated as 100, 200 and long jump champ, and repeated as runnerup in high jump, at the 4A-2 region meet. Her performance in each event was better than last year's.
Jordan Fowler, Mitchell softball: The junior pitcher allowed only four hits while striking out nine batters in a 2-0 shutout win at Winter Haven in the Class 6A region quarterfinals.
Claire Hamilton, Palm Harbor University softball: Battling a stomach virus all week, Hamilton went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs to lead the Hurricanes to an 8-4 victory over Wharton in the Class 8A region quarterfinals.
Jorian Ordway, Hillsborough track: The Kent State signee won the 3A-2 region title in the 400 (54.98), setting a Hillsborough County record in process.
Courtney Riddle, Hernando softball: The Leopards junior batted in three runs at the plate while allowing only two (one earned) in a 12-2 triumph over Pasco in the Class 5A region quarterfinals.
Assata Trader, Shorecrest track: Junior won a state title in the 100 at the Class A state meet, a surprise considering she didn't qualify for the event last year and was seeded 11th going into the preliminaries of Friday's state meet.
Marcus Begg, Mitchell baseball: The senior infielder finished the week 6-for-8 with seven RBIs and three doubles. His two-run home run was a game changer in a 6-3 win over Land O'Lakes for the Class 6A, District 10 title.
Connor Cureton, St. Petersburg Catholic track: Senior won his first state title in the 800, his signature event, at the Class A state meet. Cureton took the lead on the final lap and held off two other challengers to win in a personal-best one minute, 56.12 seconds.
Blaine Duncan, Pasco baseball: The senior lefty allowed only one hit in a victory over Fivay in the district semis. Two days later, he closed out the final two innings in a 6-2 win over Wesley Chapel for the Class 5A, District 8 title.
Seth Lewis, Seffner Christian track: Senior won the discus title in the Class A meet with a throw of 149 feet, 11 inches, beating his closest competitor by 7 inches. Lewis entered the state meet as the top seed, a year after qualifying but failing to place in the competition.
Brenden Rivera, Brooks DeBartolo baseball: Rivera went 5-of-7 with a home run, four doubles and four RBIs in the District 3A-8 tournament. The High Point (N.C.) University signee helped the Phoenix advance to the final, where they lost 6-4 to Tampa Prep.
Charlie Skantze, Countryside baseball: Junior had the key hit in the Class 7A-10 district semifinal against Pinellas Park that drove in two runs in a 2-0 win. He followed that with a bases-loaded single that scored two runs in a 3-0 win over Seminole in the final. Skantze also saved the district final by getting a game-ending double play.