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)

Regional twin bill for Hillsborough softball


Tonight, local prep softball makes its departure — either for the year or for Lake County. East Bay and Sickles, the only county teams still playing, compete in Class 5A region title games, with the winners earning spots in next week's state tournament in Clermont. For the Indians and Gryphons, tonight's challenges are huge to be sure, but far from hopeless. Both are capable of advancing, but their efforts must be stellar. Dynasties must be dismantled, aces must be trumped and mistakes must be avoided. Here's a detailed look at this high-stakes double bill:

Bartow (24-3) at East Bay (21-7-1)

Winner plays: Melbourne Viera-Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer winner in state semifinals, May 12 in Clermont

How they advanced: Bartow (District 6 runnerup): def. Lake Wales 3-1, def. Haines City 7-0; East Bay (District 8 champion): def. Springstead 6-0, def. Plant City 2-0

In the circle: Bartow, which has arms to spare, is almost certain to throw senior right-hander Lindsey Martin, who allowed one hit in six innings against Haines City. East Bay, of course, counters with North Carolina State signee Kayla Cox (15-1, 0.22 ERA), who lately has shown no signs of the tendinitis that had her on the shelf a few weeks ago.

At the plate: Indians coach Glenn Rodriguez, who has scouted Bartow a couple of times, is concerned primarily about the Yellow Jackets' speed. Leadoff hitter Gwen Jones has come up huge in the playoffs, going 3-for-4 against Haines City. … East Bay's lineup has been solid but not spectacular. First baseman Elizabeth Nugent (.398, four HRs) possesses arguably the most dangerous stick and the team's best batting average. The bottom of the order has been suspect.

Did you know? Bartow, Polk County's longtime resident softball dynasty, won five consecutive state titles from 2002-06. The Yellow Jackets, however, haven't reached this round of the playoffs since that run ended.

Dugout chatter: "This would definitely be the best defensive team we've played against all year. What we did against Plant City by hitting the ball (in play) and making them make errors, I don't think that's going to happen against Bartow. We're going to have to hit the ball." — Rodriguez

Sickles (24-5) at East Lake (25-2)

Winner plays: Tallahassee Chiles-Niceville winner in state semifinals, May 12 in Clermont

How they advanced: Sickles (District 9 runnerup): def. Venice 1-0 (8 innings), def. Gaither 13-0 (5 innings); East Lake (District 11 champion): def. Boca Ciega 1-0, def. Pinellas Park 1-0

In the circle: Sickles ace Chelsea Oglevie (13-3, 0.96 ERA) is a disciplined, control pitcher who gets the ball in the zone and allows her defense to make plays behind her. … By contrast, East Lake junior Alyssa Bache (21-2) is a flamethrower with a mesmerizing curve who fanned 37 in a 17-inning game this season.

At the plate: The Gryphons, who amassed 15 hits in their five-inning mercy-rule romp of Gaither, possess one of the area's most potent offenses. The first five batters in Phil Giarrizzo's lineup are .400 hitters, led by Goff siblings Ashli (.642, 23 RBIs) and Courtney (.490, 26 RBIs). … East Lake's Nos. 3, 4 and 5 batters — Kirsten Bembnowski, Hayley Davis, Sydney Dinelli — each hit better than .400 in the regular season. Bembnowski (five homers) has been hampered recently by an injured knee.

Did you know? The Gryphons topped East Lake 3-1 in a tournament March 26, but Bache didn't play.

Dugout chatter: "I've heard of her for years and years and played her about five or six times through the years. She's amazing, honestly. She's probably the best pitcher I've ever played against. She throws hard and she has movement. … It's not going to be easy but I'm sure my team is capable of doing it." — Oglevie on facing Bache

Regional twin bill for Hillsborough softball 05/03/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 3, 2010 9:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  2. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) pumps his fist to the crowd after Tampa Bay's 29-7 victory over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Bucs play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Sorting through the Bucs' injuries


    Greg Auman sorts through the Bucs players sidelined with injury and illness in the latest edition of our Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Kwon Alexander left the Bucs' game against the Bears with a hamstring injury. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. College football week 4: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    The Times' college football coverage team makes its picks for week 4 of the college football season:

    USF coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls face Temple in a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting


    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]