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)

Softball district preview

Countryside Ayanna Andrews, on left receiving high-fives from Brittany Dattilo (1) and Holly Ostrander (24) earlier this season, enters the Class 6A, District 7 tournament after going 6-for-10 in another competitive event, the Kissimmee Klassic. The second-seeded Cougars will be a real threat to No. 1 Sickles with Devika Choo Chew back to form after a knee injury.


Countryside Ayanna Andrews, on left receiving high-fives from Brittany Dattilo (1) and Holly Ostrander (24) earlier this season, enters the Class 6A, District 7 tournament after going 6-for-10 in another competitive event, the Kissimmee Klassic. The second-seeded Cougars will be a real threat to No. 1 Sickles with Devika Choo Chew back to form after a knee injury.

Last season, Canterbury was the only county school to reach the state final four in softball. The talent level has increased, but the path to a title remains perilous. Can the Crusaders repeat? Will anybody join them? The first step toward finding out starts with this week's district tournaments.

Class 6A, District 7

at Gaither

Schedule: Tuesday — Mitchell (4) vs. Alonso (5), 5; Gaither (3) vs. St. Petersburg (6), 7; Wednesday — Mitchell/Alonso winner vs. Sickles (1), 5; Gaither/St. Pete winner vs. Countryside (2), 7; Friday — final, 7

Outlook: Good news for the Cougars: Speedster Devika Choo Chew is back in the lineup after tweaking her knee and exiting Monday's win against Palm Harbor University. Friday, Choo Chew went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to help Countryside capture its third straight PCAC title. The Cougars will likely need a victory over Gaither to advance to region. Countryside split with Gaither during the regular season, but the Cowboys have lost six of their last nine. Countryside centerfielder Ayanna Andrews was recently named the top hitter at the Kissimmee Klassic after going 6-for-10 at the prestigious tournament.

Class 5A, District 9

at Eddie C. Moore Complex, Clearwater

Schedule: Monday — Dunedin (4) vs. Tarpon Springs (5), 5; Largo/Clearwater coin-flip winner vs. East Lake (3), 7; Largo/Clearwater coin-flip loser vs. Pinellas Park (2), 7; Tuesday — Dunedin/Tarpon Springs winner vs. Palm Harbor University (1), 7; Largo-Clearwater/East Lake winner vs. Largo-Clearwater/Pinellas Park winner, 7; Thursday — final, 7

Outlook: East Lake, PHU and Pinellas Park have been three of the county's best all season but only two will make it to region. East Lake caught fire late to defeat Pinellas Park 2-0 in the 2008 final but has lost its last three. The Patriots have won 10 in a row and are the only county team to defeat Countryside. PHU is looking to erase bitter memories from last year's tourney when it lost in the semifinals to East Lake and missed the playoffs for the first time this decade. Dunedin and Tarpon Springs are capable squads but have the misfortune of playing in a loaded district.

Class 5A, District 11

at Seminole

Schedule: Tuesday — Northeast (4) vs. Lakewood (5), 2:30; Seminole (2) vs. Gibbs (7), 5; Boca Ciega (3) vs. Dixie Hollins (6), 7:30; Wednesday — Northeast/Lakewood winner vs. Osceola (1), 5; Seminole/Gibbs winner vs. Boca Ciega/Dixie Hollins winner, 7; Friday — final, 7

Outlook: Top-seeded Osceola received a playoff boost with the return of Allison Shirley to the pitching rubber. Shirley, a senior third baseman who hadn't pitched this year, threw a complete-game (five innings) shutout against Largo in Osceola's final regular-season game. Last season, Shirley was Osceola's No. 1 starter, leading the Warriors to a 14-7 record. She gives the Warriors another option behind sophomore Jordan Bennett (11-7, 2.58 ERA this season). The Warriors are riding a four-game winning streak, including over East Lake, and enter as the favorite. South County champion Seminole is the likely opponent in the final, although Boca Ciega, Lakewood and Northeast all have the ability to pull off an upset.

Class 3A, District 11

at Academy of the Holy Names

Schedule: Tuesday — Clearwater Central Catholic (4) vs. Berkeley Prep (5), 4:30; Academy of the Holy Names (3) vs. Lennard (6), 7; Wednesday — CCC/Berkeley Prep winner vs. St. Petersburg Catholic (1), 4:30; AHN/Lennard winner vs. Tampa Catholic (2), 7; Thursday — final, 7

Outlook: In going 21-3, SPC scored 195 runs and won 14 games by shutout. Eight Barons reached double figures for RBIs, led by player of the year candidate Chloe Saganowich. In the pitching circle, Saganowich has more than 200 strikeouts and is 17-3. SPC went 10-0 in district, but Tampa Catholic came within a run (2-1) of the Barons (Feb. 19). The Crusaders have two losses, both to SPC. With Sam McCloskey pitching, CCC is a threat. The freshman tossed a no-hitter against Northside Christian (April 7) and finished with a 9-7 record and 2.71 ERA. She also leads CCC in batting (.467) and RBIs (22).

Class 2A, District 9

at University of Tampa Softball Complex

Schedule: Monday — Indian Rocks Christian (2) vs. Bishop McLaughlin (3), 7; Tuesday — Tampa Prep (1) vs. Calvary Christian (4), 7; Thursday — final, 7

Outlook: Last year, IRC was winless through the regular season but upset Bishop McLaughlin to advance to region for just the second time in school history. IRC won't have to surprise anybody this season, however. The Golden Eagles completed a remarkable turnaround, entering with a 10-5 record and 4-1 district mark. Led by sophomore Jen Lyons (10-5, sub-2.00 ERA, team-leading 27 RBIs), IRC will challenge Tampa Prep for the title. The Golden Eagles dropped a 5-3 decision to the Terrapins in their only meeting this season.

Class 2A, District 11

at Shorecrest

Schedule: Thursday — Northside Christian (1) vs. Shorecrest (2), 4

Outlook: Northside and Shorecrest are guaranteed to advance to region after St. Stephen's and Keswick Christian dropped out. Northside defeated Shorecrest 11-1 (five innings) in early March, but the Chargers were much more competitive in the rematch, losing 8-6. Northside can win its second district championship in three years. The Mustangs were upset last year by St. Stephen's in the final.

Class A, District 11

at Canterbury

Schedule: Monday — Oldsmar Christian (4) vs. Lakeside Christian (5), 4:30; Tuesday — Academy at the Lakes (2) vs. Citrus Park Christian (3), 4:30; Oldsmar/Lakeside winner vs. Canterbury (1), 6:30. Thursday – final, 4:30

Outlook: Canterbury is aiming for back-to-back final four appearances and has a favorable path at the region round. But first the Crusaders have to take care of business in the district, where they've won three straight titles. Only Academy at the Lakes poses a serious threat. The Wildcats nearly upset Canterbury 9-8 on March 10. Of district foes not named Academy, Canterbury won by a combined 92-1 (five games).

Softball district preview 04/18/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 18, 2009 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL owners' unity with players might be short-lived


    The image was striking — several owners of NFL teams locking arms with their players on the sidelines Sunday, and the Cowboys' Jerry Jones on Monday night, in a dramatic statement of defiance to a president who ridiculed their sport and condemned players for refusing to stand during the national anthem as a …

    Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, currently without a team, has cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for not standing during the national anthem. [Associated Press]
  2. Anthem protest, the latest: Jerry Jones joins Cowboys on field in show of solidarity


    As President Donald Trump continued tweeting Monday about his displeasure with NFL players for staging demonstrations during the national anthem, the Cowboys took a knee on the field just before the anthem was performed on Monday Night Football. Dallas players were joined by owner Jerry Jones, and they quickly …

    Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, center, joins the team in taking a knee before the national anthem Monday night. They stood and linked arms for the anthem.
  3. Bucs journal: Gerald McCoy says players who kneel have team's support


    TAMPA — Receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson were the only Bucs players kneeling during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Vikings, but DT Gerald McCoy said the team supports their protest "100 percent."

    Bucs tight end Cameron Brate pulls in a touchdown catch as Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (34) hits him in the back of the head.
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  5. Luke Del Rio regains UF starting job, for now


    GAINESVILLE — Luke Del Rio is once again the starting quarterback for No. 21 Florida.

    Luke Del Rio provided a needed spark when he replaced starter Feleipe Franks and rallied Florida past Kentucky.