HomeTeam Hot Shots
A spotlight on the Times’ bay area players of the week.
Female Hot Shot: Hailey Hopkins, Canterbury
Skinny: Given how little the offense had produced through six innings, a rally by the Class 2A powerhouse Crusaders seemed unlikely against Northeast. But there was hope with Hopkins up to bat. The junior had the team’s only hit in the game going into the final inning. And after Kama Woodall reached on a single, Hopkins had a chance to end the game. She did just that, smacking a walkoff home run in a 2-1 victory. It was a remarkable feat for Hopkins, who had a combined two home runs the past two seasons and had never hit a winning homer at any level of softball. After struggling most of the past three weeks, Hopkins has five hits in her last three games.
Male Hot Shot: Michael Paul, Clearwater Central Catholic
Skinny: The freshman started his first varsity game Wednesday night against Tampa Bay Christian in the quarterfinals of the Dunedin Spring Tournament. He pitched five innings, struck out four and gave up only two hits in the Marauders’ 10-0 win. “We were hoping to get one time through the lineup with Michael. To get five innings is huge,” CCC coach Todd Vaughan said. Paul played on junior varsity before being promoted, and Vaughan said Paul will stay on varsity the rest of the season. Paul is the younger brother of senior David Paul, the Times’ pitcher of the year last season. “He has command of four pitches,” David Paul said. “I only have command of three.”