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West Florida Panthers make quarterfinals at World Wood Bat Association National Championships

The West Florida Panthers, a 14U competitive travel team based in Hernando County, earned an invitation to the World Wood Bat Association National Championships two weekends ago in Marietta, Ga. It was the program's first time in the event.

The Panthers had a good run in the 38-team tournament, ending in the championship quarterfinals, and West Florida made some major marks on the national field that included teams from 14 different states including Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan.

In the first round, West Florida faced the defending champions, the East Cobb Astros, who came in as the No. 1-ranked program in the country according to WWBA polls. The Panthers knocked off the Astros 6-2 behind pitcher Brandon Lawson, a Springstead High freshman.

The Panthers then defeated the Hawaii Warriors 5-1 in the second round and the Michigan Bulls 17-0 by mercy-rule victory the next day. The Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals when Hernando Christian Academy freshman Brandon Brosher won a pitchers' duel over the East Cobb Braves 3-2.

The success ended with a 6-2 loss to the Dulin (Tenn.) Dodgers on Sunday. The Dodgers eventually went on to win the tournament.

SOFTBALL: A local competitive softball program won a national title thanks to contributions from two Hernando County athletes.

Team Florida 14U entered the South Florida ASA Championships on June 19-21 in Royal Palm Beach to secure a berth in the ASA National Championships in Marietta, Ga., in late July. The team outscored their opponents 53-9 in four games and were able to outlast the West Boynton Lady Bandits in the championship game.

Two of the members of this roster are from the area. Catcher Hailey Drawe and pitcher Elizabeth Markidis are both from Hernando County. Drawe played for Powell Middle last season, while Markidis was at the Springstead High program.

BASEBALL: The Nature Coast Knights, an 11U competitive travel club, is looking for skilled players for the upcoming fall season.

Players cannot turn 12 years old before May 1, 2010, to be eligible for the roster. The Knights are a AAU team based out of Hernando County.

For more information, call Stacy Rodriguez at (352) 279-0700.

GOLF/TENNIS: Impact Training at Quail Ridge Country Club in Spring Hill is offering multiple fitness camps in the coming weeks.

There are five weeks left in two of these camps. The Tennis/Golf Camp has both half-day and full-day spots available for youths ages 7 to 16.

Half days run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. ($85 per week), and full days go from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($140 per week). The other camp with spots available is the High School Competitive Tennis Camp. This camp is available only to high school students for a fee of $85 per week.

For more information, call Brent Wellman at (727) 919-2011 or e-mail at or visit

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West Florida Panthers make quarterfinals at World Wood Bat Association National Championships 07/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 2, 2009 5:28pm]
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