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4A-9 softball: Young Steinbrenner takes out Jefferson

TAMPA — Usually, first-year teams such as Steinbrenner are starting from scratch and building for the future.

This is no usual team.

The Warriors started with a goal just to have a winning record this season, coach Colleen Sanders said.

Instead, Steinbrenner did the improbable and won the Class 4A, District 9 title Thursday night at Robinson.

The Warriors knocked off Jefferson 5-2 and will host a state playoff game next week.

"It feels really good," Sanders said. "The girls were terrific. We changed our goal after we knew we were going to be over .500 to win the district, and it feels great to be able to host a playoff game."

Jaclyn Amato threw a complete game — after pitching a tough district semifinal game the night before. And it didn't show until the last inning. Amato had a shutout going to that point before allowing a pair of runs, but she was able to finish the game. She had nine strikeouts and gave up six hits, three coming in the seventh inning.

"That was two big games for us," Sanders said. "She may have been a little tired there at the end, but there was no way she was going to give up."

Steinbrenner did its damage early to give Amato some run support when Taylor Marrow smacked a three-run homer in the first inning.

Amato helped herself with a two-run double in the fifth inning to make the score 5-0.

Todd Foley, Times correspondent

4A-9 softball: Young Steinbrenner takes out Jefferson 04/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 23, 2010 8:24am]

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