Softball: Super 7
Records through Tuesday:
1. Bloomingdale (9-0): The Bulls keep finding ways to win. Tuesday, the Bulls got a dominant game from ace Lace Smith and a dazzling catch from Taylor Engman to stay perfect.
2. Strawberry Crest (8-1): In five games since a 6-3 loss to Bloomingdale, the Chargers have outscored their opponents 55-1. Cacey Simmons and Mia Fund have combined for eight of the team's 25 steals....
VALRICO — For every walk Bloomingdale pitcher Lace Smith issues, the penalty from Bulls coaches is simple: five runs from one foul pole to the other.
Smith doesn't look like she'll be running any time soon.
The junior ace was nearly flawless Tuesday night, striking out 10 batters — while walking none — in a 2-1 home win over Alonso. The victory in a showdown between the top teams in Class 8A, District 7 keeps the Bulls (9-0, 5-0) perfect this spring....
LAKELAND — The running clock was winding down, and Lake Minneola was still finding ways to slice to the basket in Friday's Class 6A state semifinal.
After the Hawks drained another tough layup in their rout at the Lakeland Center, Lennard coach Danny Gaddis could only rub his head, shove his hands in his pockets and look away.
"They are as good as advertised," Gaddis said.
Lake Minneola's talent combined with Lennard's ugliest game of the year to end the best season in Longhorn history with a 74-42 defeat....
After a monthlong hiring snafu and a possible state investigation into another coaching candidate, King promoted offensive coordinator Trey Thomas to head football coach, principal Michael Rowan said Wednesday.
The move came a month after the Lions selected ex-Lecanto coach McKinley Rolle to replace Al Davis. But Hillsborough County never made Rolle's hire official because he was the subject of an investigation by the Florida Department of Education, Rowan said....
02/24/14 Auto racing
DAYTONA BEACH — Denny Hamlin wasn't sure how to feel after Sunday's Daytona 500.
He had overcome a malfunctioning radio in his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and ended a strong Speedweeks with a runnerup finish after six straight runs outside the top 10 at restrictor-plate tracks. He even left Daytona International Speedway second in points.
"Any other year I probably would have been like jumping up and down," Hamlin said....
TAMPA — The attorney for the Wharton High School football player who was seriously injured before an October practice has taken a formal step toward suing the Hillsborough County school district.
Attorney C. Steven Yerrid sent a letter Friday giving the district six months to resolve the complaint before a lawsuit is formally filed on behalf of Wharton junior Sean McNamee, who fractured his skull in October after hitting his head on a piece of equipment. ...
02/24/14 Auto racing
DAYTONA BEACH — On the night his father's number made its return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. put a decade of struggles behind him to earn perhaps the biggest win of his career.
Earnhardt survived rain, wrecks, a near-empty fuel tank and a late night, star-studded push to the finish at Daytona International Speedway to win his second Daytona 500 on Sunday night....
DAYTONA BEACH — For the second time in three years, rain significantly delayed the Daytona 500.
Sprinkles began to fall shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, with 38 laps of the scheduled 200 complete and Kyle Busch leading. Then severe weather rolled in. The stands at Daytona International Speedway emptied after the National Weather Service issued two separate tornado warnings in the area....
TAMPA — Marshall Holmes had seen the opening all night.
The Community School of Naples' guards would tempt him by dribbling the ball tantalizingly high, but the Berkeley Prep senior didn't want to gamble by trying to poke it out from behind.
After Holmes saw his Buccaneers' 14-point lead shrink to single digits midway through the fourth quarter, he finally took the chance that punched his team's ticket to Lakeland....
02/21/14 Auto racing
When the question flew at him this month at NASCAR's media day, Dale Earnhardt Jr. bristled. • Could he wreck the No. 3 car his dad made famous to win a race? • "I haven't wrecked anybody to win a race in a long time," Earnhardt said. "But we haven't won many races, either." • No, Earnhardt hasn't. His No. 88 Chevrolet has claimed one checkered flag in the past five seasons. • But after a disappointing run when NASCAR's most popular driver was outside the top 20 in points two years in a row, Earnhardt has regained his form. He has had three of the best seasons of his career and starts ninth at Daytona International Speedway in today's Daytona 500. • "Since I've been at Hendrick and spent more time with him, he's been super focused and aware of what's going on," Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne said. "And that's shown on the racetrack." • It wasn't always like that....
Who/when: Orlando First Academy (21-8) at Tampa Prep (25-3); 7 tonight
Winner gets: Shorecrest or Naples First Baptist
Skinny: Tampa Prep and the Royals met in the playoffs in 2011 and 2012. The Terrapins' 46-45 win in the 2012 region final was their closest contest in their road to the state title. Tampa Prep has dominated since an overtime loss to Berkeley Prep by winning its past four games, all by at least 20 points....
02/19/14 Auto racing
Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart were boarding a flight home after a recent sponsorship appearance when Harvick glanced over at his car owner and teammate. Stewart hadn't raced in six months, when he broke his right leg in a sprint car wreck. Sunday's season-opening Daytona 500 was approaching but still 13 agonizing days away. "We got on that plane, and he was like a crazed lunatic," Harvick said. "You could see that look in his eye." "Smoke" was ready to race....
DOVER — As Freedom coach Cedric Smith watched Strawberry Crest harass his Patriots by trapping them and forcing turnovers in the backcourt, he saw some potential good, too — an opening underneath.
Freedom junior Miguel Rojas found that soft spot in the closing seconds Tuesday night to make the biggest bucket in Patriots history.
Rojas' layup with eight seconds left gave Freedom a 42-40 road win over Strawberry Crest in the Class 7A region semifinals, extending the deepest playoff run Freedom has ever had to within four quarters of a trip to state....
TAMPA — Justin Motlow didn't begin to understand the history of his Seminole ancestors until he was 12 or 13, when he would watch the elders sewing patchwork and shooting arrows like they used to on the reservations.
In the past few weeks, the Tampa Catholic High senior has started to comprehend the history he's about to make.
Motlow has accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Florida State. It is believed that when he joins the team in the fall, he'll become the first member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida to play football for the Seminoles of FSU....
Jameis Winston's accuser appears to be gearing up for a possible lawsuit against Florida State University.
The woman's Dade City-based attorney, Patricia Carroll, said Friday that she is working with two high-profile Title IX attorneys, John Clune and Baine Kerr, to explore a possible suit against FSU under the federal anti-discrimination guidelines.
Clune and Kerr are Colorado-based attorneys who have handled on-campus rape lawsuits at the University of Pacific, Wake Forest and University of Colorado. Clune also represented the woman who accused Lakers star Kobe Bryant of sexual assault....