Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)


PHU softball has no trouble with Countryside

PALM HARBOR — It has been an odd season to say the least for perennial county power Palm Harbor University, which is seeded fourth for the Class 5A, District 9 tournament, a district the Hurricanes have owned in recent years.

Lately, however, PHU has been hitting its stride, which couldn't come at a better time with the district tournament starting in less than a week.

Wednesday against Countryside — Pinellas' top-rated team for much of the season — the Hurricanes shut down the Cougars behind a dominating pitching performance from Courtney O'Connell in a 7-1 win.

The victory was the fourth in five games for the Hurricanes (16-6) against heady competition.

"We're starting to come together," said O'Connell, who didn't pitch earlier in the season because of an injured arm. "We're starting to work a lot harder, and we're communicating better."

O'Connell limited a potent Countryside (19-4) lineup to two hits and allowed only one runner to reach scoring position through six innings. She gave up a run in the seventh, but by then the Hurricanes held a seven-run lead.

"If I throw where I'm supposed to, my defense has my back" O'Connell said. "I trust this defense more than any defense I've ever had behind me."

The PHU offense was just as lethal, scoring once in the second and twice in the third before first baseman Jackie Katchuk unloaded on a fastball down the middle with the bases loaded for a grand slam in the fourth.

"I had been getting behind all day, so I figured I'd get ahead," said Katchuk, who swung at the first offering from Countryside starter Desiree Baker and deposited it over the fence to the deepest part of centerfield. "This win is huge."

Palm Harbor U>>7

PHU softball has no trouble with Countryside 04/10/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 10, 2008 12:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  3. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.
  4. Rays journal: Alex Cobb may have pitched last game in Rays uniform (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — RHP Alex Cobb pitched well enough to lead the Rays to an 8-3 win over the Orioles on Friday.

    Wilson Ramos gives thanks after hitting a grand slam during the second inning, putting the Rays up 4-0.
  5. Ww's Odessabeach makes run at Husker Magic stakes final


    ST. PETERSBURG — When Hurricane Irma blew through Florida earlier this month, Ww's Odessabeach remained in her comfort zone.