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Softball region finalsCanterbury

Canterbury hopes to take new step into state semifinals

Junior catcher Macey Hall, fielding a grounder at practice, was a second-team Times all-county selection last season.

\uFEFFMARTHA RIAL | Times (2007)

Junior catcher Macey Hall, fielding a grounder at practice, was a second-team Times all-county selection last season.

Last season, Canterbury stood on the precipice of history, the program's first state semifinals berth within close reach.

Needing three outs to close a 1-0 victory over Southwest Florida Christian in the region final, the Crusaders uncharacteristically committed four errors and watched certain victory slip away in a 2-1 defeat.

Today, Canterbury (23-6) is in familiar territory. A victory at Seffner Christian sends the Crusaders to the state semifinals, a feat considering the program first competed in district play just three years ago.

Canterbury's Jody Moore, who estimates at least seven starters have been with her for all three of her seasons as coach, says her team is ready to face its demons from a year ago.

"I feel much better this year," she said. "I think the girls understand the task at hand. They don't get nervous when those routine balls come to them anymore. They're making routine plays in stressful situations.

"We've done that this season, whereas in the past, we didn't have the big games during the regular season to make those plays."

Year by year, the Crusaders are pushing into uncharted territory. Two years ago, the program was in its first region semifinal. Last year saw a region final appearance. Could a trip to Plant City be the next step?

"Our reputation in softball is changing a bit," Moore said. "We're not showing up saying, 'I hope we win.' We're coming in expecting to win."

>>FAST FACTS

Region final

Canterbury (23-6) at Seffner Christian (9-9), 4:30 p.m. today

Winner meets Lake Mary Prep-Orlando Faith Christian winner in next week's state semifinals.

Canterbury hopes to take new step into state semifinals 04/28/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2008 11:06pm]
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