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 notebook: Canterbury packs schedule with tough foes

Canterbury and coach Jody Moore, middle, have beaten their district opponents by a combined 52-0. But this weekend, they face two ranked foes.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times (2013)

Canterbury and coach Jody Moore, middle, have beaten their district opponents by a combined 52-0. But this weekend, they face two ranked foes.

For Canterbury, the defending Class 2A state champion, winning a ninth straight district title already is a foregone conclusion considering how overmatched the competition has been.

The Crusaders have beaten 2A-8 foes Bayshore Christian, Lakeside Christian and Keswick Christian by a combined 52-0, each game lasting no more than three innings because of the mercy rule.

That is what makes this weekend important.

Canterbury, ranked No. 1 in 2A, hosts 7A No. 10 Kissimmee Osceola today. An even bigger test comes Saturday, when the Crusaders host Oviedo Harmony, the No. 2 team in 7A and the second-best team in the state regardless of classification.

"We're excited about playing some great competition," Canterbury coach Jody Moore said. "That's something we've been searching for."

The game against Osceola came out of familiarity. Moore played for the Kowboys from 1992-95 and made the state semifinals three times.

Her coach, George Coffey, still is at the school.

"We've kept in contact through the years," Moore said. "He's a great man and is one of the biggest reasons I got into coaching."

Next week, the Crusaders go through another series of tough games at the Gulliver Slamfest in Miami. Canterbury opens bracket play against 8A No. 1 Miami Coral Reef.

"We had some of these games last year, and it helped," Moore said.

"We're a year older, and the eighth-graders we had are now freshmen. They're not as tentative anymore."

Offensive explosion: Over the past three seasons, softball in Pinellas County has evolved from a game dominated by low scores and overpowering pitching to slugfests in which runs can come in dizzying fashion.

So far, 10 teams in the county are averaging at least six runs per game. Four — Admiral Farragut, Canterbury, Palm Harbor University and St. Petersburg Catholic — are averaging more than 10.

The runs have not come via the long ball. No team in the county has more than five home runs. Instead, teams are making solid contact and capitalizing on opportunities.

Under the radar: Clearwater has struggled in ultracompetitive 7A-9, losing all six district games en route to a 1-11 start. The lone bright spot has been Alyssa Johnson, a captain and senior infielder who leads the district with a .688 batting average and a .762 on-base percentage. She has signed with Babson College, where she will study international business and law.

Did you know? Dunedin junior Aubrey Ehlers, a three-year starter on the mound, is following a family tradition. Her older sisters, Amber and Ashley, also pitched for the Falcons. Amber, who graduated in 2007, played two seasons at Hillsborough Community College. Ashley, a 2011 graduate, is currently pitching for Saint Leo.

Aubrey is 6-3 this season with a 1.73 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 57.1 innings.

Bob Putnam can be reached at or on Twitter @BobbyHomeTeam.

Softball notebook: Canterbury packs schedule with tough foes 03/07/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  2. Oleg Sosunov brings intrigue to Lightning exhibition opener


    When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked he thought the 6-foot-8 Russian would hit the ceiling of Amalie Arena.

  3. Bears-Buccaneers Turning Point, Week 2: When was it over?


    Well, that escalated quickly.

    One moment, the Bears were dinking and dunking their way down the field. The next, they were giving the ball away. In a six-minute stretch over the first and second quarters, they turned the ball over three times. Interception. Fumble. Fumble.

    Jacquizz Rodgers scores a touchdown Sunday in the Bucs' 29-7 win over the Bears in Tampa. [LOREN ELLIOTT  |  Times]
  4. Bucs journal: At end of first half, a push for more points pays off


    TAMPA — The Bucs weren't perfect on offense in Sunday's 29-7 win over the Bears, but they came close on one play to set up a 50-yard field goal before halftime.

    Jameis Winston’s 21-yard completion to DeSean Jackson was the Bucs’ longest offensive play in Sunday’s victory over the Bears.
  5. After loss to Bucs, Bears stick with Mike Glennon at quarterback


    LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Bears coach John Fox said Monday the Bears will stick with Mike Glennon at quarterback after the former Buc struggled in Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay.