Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Newsome's offense keeps team going in softball playoffs

Newsome High pitcher Ashley Stubbs, here pitching the Wolves to a win against Freedom High on March 28, credits her team’s offense for giving her more confidence in the pitcher’s circle.

KATHLEEN FLYNN | Times

Newsome High pitcher Ashley Stubbs, here pitching the Wolves to a win against Freedom High on March 28, credits her team’s offense for giving her more confidence in the pitcher’s circle.

LITHIA — There are a number of ways to measure the power of Newsome's offense this season.

A quick look at results reveals a host of times the girls' softball team reached double digits in runs scored. Another barometer would be the gaudy statistics up and down the roster. But perhaps the best way to gauge Newsome's potency is to ask a pitcher — like the Wolves' Ashley Stubbs.

"They can just rip," she said. "I have so much confidence in what they can do, it's ridiculous."

Stubbs should know. Newsome's main pitcher faces her own hitters in practice and has seen the damage this talented group can do.

"Outside, inside, high, fastballs … whatever," Stubbs said. "No matter where you put it, they can hit it."

And if the Wolves are to continue on toward the state championships in Plant City, their lineup will be a big reason.

Visiting Newsome takes the next step at 7 tonight in the 5A region semifinals against River Ridge after the Wolves defeated Land O'Lakes 10-6 Tuesday.

"The further you go and the better the competition level, the more concentration comes into play," third-year Newsome coach Jessi Kowal said.

"We were doing some free swinging during the season because sometimes we were only getting one pitch to hit, but now is the time for discipline."

Newsome (19-7) has hit double digits in runs 15 times this season, including scoring 20 or more four times. Newsome also scored 10 or more runs seven times during an eight-game winning streak mid season.

Ten players on the roster are hitting .300 or better, led by Courtney St. Amant (.485) and Ally Ledenham (.450).

"We're very well-balanced and I don't think as coaches that we have any fear of putting any player in the game in a certain situation," Kowal said. "We have complete confidence in all of them."

And this isn't just a slap hitting squad. Newsome has nine homers spread among seven players. Tuesday against Land O'Lakes, Newsome pounded out six doubles including a pair each by Bailey Schinella and Nicollette Levine.

Perhaps more importantly, Newsome has learned to win playing from behind. The Wolves trailed 5-0 against Bloomingdale in the district finals before winning 7-5 and Newsome trailed 2-0 at one point Tuesday before exploding for an eight-run second inning against Land O'Lakes.

"During the season we cracked a little under the pressure and that showed in some tournament losses we had," Kowal said. "I think they're learning that confidence because we don't want them hitting the panic button. We want them hitting the 'Easy' button."

Kowal knows a thing or two about softball. She starred at USF (2000-01), as did assistant coach and former Bull teammate Rachel Williams. Kowal also has former Clearwater Bomber teammate and University of Tampa product Dawn Wallace on a staff that looks young enough to button up a jersey. "I think the kids can relate to us better," Kowal said. "We (coaches) like to hop in there at practice with them. The competition is great."

Tonight's other area region semifinals:

Durant (23-5) at Countryside (23-4), 7 p.m. at Clearwater Recreation Park at Misty Springs

Sunrise Christian (10-5) at Seffner Christian (8-9), 4 p.m.

Newsome's offense keeps team going in softball playoffs 04/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:53am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Lightning wing Nikita Kucherov celebrates his second-period goal against the Devils, his eighth overall, giving him goals in each of the first seven games.
  2. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  3. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues

    Bucs

    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  4. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'

    Blogs

    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.
  5. Fennelly: Longtime Bucs fans, we want to hear from you

    Blogs

    Calling all Bucs fans! Calling all Bucs fans!

    Jameis Winston is pressured by Chandler Jones during the Bucs' loss to the Cardinals Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.