HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Brianna Lindner and Warren Mclymont

Land O'Lakes catcher Brianna Lindner hugs pitcher Callie Turner after last year's Class 6A state final win over North Fort Myers. (Times file, 2017)
Land O'Lakes catcher Brianna Lindner hugs pitcher Callie Turner after last year's Class 6A state final win over North Fort Myers. (Times file, 2017)
Published March 5

Brianna Lindner, Land O'Lakes

Lindner is most comfortable behind the plate.

A catcher for more than seven years, Lindner has been a battery mate to some of the area's top pitchers, including Callie Turner.

"I started catching Callie when she first started pitching around 11 or 12 years old in travel ball," Lindner said. "I'd say we're pretty comfortable with each other."

Staring through the bars on her facemask, Lindner holds her mitt steady as she catches riseballs, fastballs and changeups from Turner, a Tennessee commit who is considered one of the nation's top pitching prospects in the class of 2019.

At the plate, Lindner is becoming more relaxed, too.

That took time. Lindner spent the offseason working on locating pitches better, especially those off-speed ones.

"Basically I was working on sitting back on a pitch rather than trying to chase it," Lindner said. "I needed pitches to come to me rather than the other way around."

If patience is a virtue, consider Lindner's improved batting average her reward. The Queens College (N.Y.) signee is hitting .400 through seven games. Last year, she finished with a .352 average.

Her best performance came this past week in a 5-1 win over rival Sunlake. Lindner went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

"The Sunlake game was definitely a high point," Lindner said. "It's such a huge game because it's a huge rivalry game and we all have friends that go to the other school."

Warren Mclymont and the Hillsborough boys basketball team are headed to Lakeland for the final four. (Courtesy of Warren Mclymont)

Warren Mclymont, Hillsborough

As fans rushed the court to celebrate Hillsborough's region final win, Mclymont showed little emotion.

"I was celebrating, but it was more on the inside," he said.

It was a big win, one that puts the Terriers in the state semifinals for the first time since 1996.

But for Mclymont, there still was more to come.

"My main focus is states," he said. "We still have two games left, the semifinal and the final."

A transfer from Tampa Bay Tech, Mclymont already knew it what it was like to be in a historical playoff push.

Now, he was playing a pivotal role in one.

Hillsborough lost the bulk of its starting lineup last season. Mclymont was asked to become more of a scorer.

"The coaches wanted me to attack the basket," he said.

Mclymont had no problem with that. It was a style he was accustomed to in AAU basketball.

"I just had to get comfortable in the new system," Mclymont said. "In AAU, it's more one-on-one. In high school, it's more plays and packages, and you have to learn how you fit into that."

He had his best performances in the postseason.

Against Springstead in the region semifinals, Mclymont posted career highs in points (25) and rebounds (14). He followed that up by scoring 14 points and grabbing five rebounds in the region final win over Daytona Beach Mainland.

"It's win or go home, so I knew I had to step up," Mclymont said. "I have to keep doing it. We can celebrate if we win it all."