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Class 5A, District 9Class A, District 10District softball semifinals

Patriots cruise past Spongers for first region berth in 20 years

CLEARWATER — Palm Harbor University is not going to the region tournament for the first time in 10 years.

Pinellas Park is going for the first time in 20.

In Tuesday's Class 5A, District 9 tournament, notable streaks came to an end as East Lake beat PHU 5-3 and Pinellas Park defeated Tarpon Springs 11-2 at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater.

The Patriots (19-7) manhandled the Spongers behind 11 hits and the pitching of Sara Nevins, who struck out 12 for her 17th win.

Senior Amanda Walters had three hits, freshman Samantha Martin hit a bases-loaded triple in a seven-run fifth inning, and Tatum McDowell was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

"I think the key now is (that) our bats are alive and we are where we need to be," said Pinells Park coach Shane DeMartino, whose team has been to regions only once before, in 1988. "We're playing our best ball right now."

Pinellas Park has won nine of its last 11, with both losses coming to East Lake, the team it will meet in Thursday's championship at 7 p.m.

The Eagles (16-6) will be playing in their third straight district final, having finished second to PHU the previous two seasons. They jumped out to a 5-0 lead before surviving a Hurricane rally in the sixth.

After scoring three runs, PHU (18-7) had runners on second and third when Madison O'Brien lined right at Eagles third baseman Brianna Weaver to end the threat.

After six gutsy innings by senior Kim Mazzapica (5-0), who has been nursing a leg injury all season, freshman Hayley Davis pitched the seventh for the save.

"There was a lot of pressure, but I love it; I missed it," said Mazzapica, whose previous long outing was four innings on senior night last week.

Class A, District 11

Canterbury cruises to huge win over Oldsmar

Canterbury notched its highest scoring output of the season with a dominating five-inning 24-0 victory over Oldsmar. Macey Hall blasted two home runs to centerfield to lead Canterbury's hit parade.

Hall's first came with one runner on base. Her second in the fourth inning was a grand slam.

"We finally came out and played our game against a district opponent," Canterbury coach Jody Moore said.

Canterbury scored 15 runs in the first inning. Krissy Longstreet had a double and was 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Crusaders.

Canterbury will play Academy at the Lakes on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for the title. AATL beat Lakeside Christian 10-0.

Patriots cruise past Spongers for first region berth in 20 years 04/15/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 1:26pm]

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