North Suncoast: Region softball capsules (5A, 3A, A)



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Mon. April 25, 2011 | Bryan Burns

North Suncoast: Region softball capsules (5A, 3A, A)

Region quarterfinals
All games Tuesday at 7 p.m.; Admission $6

Class 5A: Durant (20-8) at Springstead (21-2)
Outlook: Arguably the top team on the North Suncoast, Springstead is enjoying the greatest season in school history. The Eagles have won a program-best 21 games and at one point this season were victorious in 15 straight games, giving up just 10 runs during that stretch. The Eagles have been big on defense all season. Junior pitcher Alexis Adams isn’t afraid to challenge hitters because her defense, led by Brittany Martinez at shortstop, has been near-perfect all season. …Durant started 10-0 before dropping all four games at the Bartow Tournament of Champions. The Cougars had a four-game win streak stopped by Plant City in the district tournament final. Behind freshman Kelli Tidwell’s two-run home run, Durant edged Newsome 2-1 to reach the postseason. Durant pitcher Lauren Wolfe, a Florida Southern signee, tossed a three-hitter to beat Newsome.
Last playoff appearance: Durant: 2008, advanced to Class 6A state semifinals before losing 5-4 to Palm Beach Gardens in 10 innings; Springstead: 2010, lost to eventual Class 5A state champion East Bay 6-0 in region quarterfinals.

Class A: Hernando Christian (25-1) at All Saints’ Academy (7-6)
Outlook: How will Hernando Christian recover after its first loss of the season? The Lions won 25 straight games then fell to Bradenton Christian 7-1 in the district final. Hernando Christian had beaten Bradenton Christian twice during the regular season by a combined 9-2. The Lions’ Kala Thompson leads the team in batting (.690), runs (54), home runs (five), innings pitched (78) and strikeouts (134). …All Saints’ isn’t exactly battle-tested. The Saints enjoyed an easy path to reach the postseason as the only team in their district and were automatically awarded the A-7 title without having to play a game. The Saints only played 13 games during the regular season as a number of their scheduled contests were canceled.
Last playoff appearance: Hernando Christian: 2010, advanced to Class A state semifinals for second straight season before falling to Grandview Prep 10-0; All Saints’: 2010, lost to Seffner Christian 9-7 in Class A region quarterfinals.

Class A: Academy at the Lakes (7-8) at Sarasota Christian (17-4)
Outlook: Academy at the Lakes enters the postseason with a losing record, but a majority of those losses came against quality programs. The Wildcats fell three times to perennial Class A state contender Canterbury, dropped two games to Class 4A Wiregrass Ranch and split a pair of games against both Bishop McLaughlin and Berkeley Prep. The Wildcats are led at the plate by Kallie Shirling (.488 avg., 11 RBIs, two HRs) and by the pitching duo of Sydney Boynton (43 innings, 2.12 ERA) and Lauren Evans (2.07 ERA, 62 K’s). …Sarasota Christian won its district over Southwest Florida Christian 2-1 behind Emily Clawson’s four-hitter. The Blazers have also faced Canterbury, and like AATL, came up short in two contests, losing 5-1 each time.
Last playoff appearance: AATL: 2010, the Wildcats defeated Sarasota Christian 2-1 in the region quarterfinals for their first playoff victory before falling to Canterbury 11-2 in the region semis; Sarasota Christian: 2010, the Blazers made their eighth straight postseason appearance but fell to AATL 2-1 in the region quarters.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer


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