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Softball | State finals

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State softball preview

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1. Can Durant win its first state title? The Cougars are in the final four for only the second time in school history. In 2002, they lost in the semifinals to Countryside. Durant has won 14 straight games.

2. Will anyone finish the season unbeaten? Entering the final four, only three teams are without a loss. Of those with perfect records, Lake Worth Christian appears to have the easiest path to perfection.

3. Could a national champion emerge? It's possible. Pembroke Pines Charter enters the 4A final four ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today.

4. Jacksonville represents. Known more for producing great baseball teams, Jacksonville has five squads still alive. USA Today ranks Mandarin No. 22.

5. Can Naples be the first to hit double digits? The storied program leads all in Florida with nine championships. The Golden Eagles are riding an 18-game winning streak.

Players to watch

Audrey Broyles, Pembroke Pines Charter, pitcher: The South Carolina signee is 13-0.

Sara Demuth, Durant, pitcher: Arguably the area's best all-around player, Demuth is 19-3 on the mound with a 0.34 ERA and is hitting .341.

Samantha Rich, Wewahitchka, pitcher: She is 19-2 and posted a shutout in the 2007 state final.

Stephanie Sullivan, Venice, pitcher: She has a perfect record and 270 strikeouts.

Jaclyn Traina, Naples, pitcher: She struck out 11 in the region final and is only a sophomore.

Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer

>>fast facts

If you go

When: Monday-Saturday

Where: Plant City Stadium. From I-4, take the Park Road exit and head south. After about 2 miles, you will see the complex on your right.

Admission: $8 per session.

Class A: Monday — Jacksonville Eagles' View (16-12) vs. Lake Worth Christian (25-0), noon; Lake Mary Prep (24-5) vs. Canterbury (24-6), 7 p.m. Tuesday — final, 4 p.m.

Class 2A: Wednesday — Jacksonville Providence (25-3) vs. Southwest Florida Christian (18-4), noon; Wewahitchka (25-2) vs. Glades Day (21-7), 2 p.m. Thursday — final, 4 p.m.

Class 3A: Monday — Jacksonville Bishop Snyder (20-10) vs. Plantation American Heritage (19-10), 2 p.m.; Winter Park Trinity Prep (17-8) vs. Lakeland McKeel (16-13), 5 p.m. Tuesday — final, 7 p.m.

Class 4A: Friday Baker County (24-3) vs. Pembroke Pines Charter (29-0), 2 p.m.; South Lake (21-5) vs. Naples (26-3), 5 p.m. Saturday — final, 1 p.m.

Class 5A: Wednesday Jacksonville Bartram Trail (28-3) vs. Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer (22-8), 5 p.m.; Lakeland George Jenkins (24-4) vs. Venice (30-0), 7 p.m. Thursday — final, 7 p.m.

Class 6A: Friday — Jacksonville Mandarin (26-2) vs. Miami Palmetto (24-3), noon; Palm Beach Gardens (29-4) vs. Durant (25-5), 7 p.m. Saturday — final, 4 p.m.

State softball preview 05/03/08 [Last modified: Saturday, May 3, 2008 6:14pm]
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