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Bloomingdale defeats Land O'Lakes in tournament

(ran PAS edition)

No team in the Land O'Lakes Little League this year duplicated the feat of last year's Senior Baseball All-Stars, who claimed the second district championship in the league's 21 seasons.

In fact, the only team to even make it to a district title game was the Major Softball All-Stars.

Bloomingdale apparently had Land O'Lakes figured out in the District 12 series, winning the championship contest 17-0. That followed a 15-1 defeat of Land O'Lakes in an earlier round.

"We're real pleased with the results," said Land O'Lakes coach Mardee Harvey, "because a lot of these girls had only played a few years before. I don't think anybody's disappointed with them.

"They kept their spirits up, even when they realized they weren't going to win. They had real good attitudes and that's more important than winning."

Things looked promising for Land O'Lakes (4-2) at the start of the double-elimination tournament. The team breezed to a pair of easy victories _ 24-4 over Sulphur Springs and 17-11 over East Bay _ before faltering against Bloomingdale. Although that game placed Land O'Lakes in the loser's bracket, the team fought back to make the championship game by beating East Point 15-4.

Land O'Lakes banged out 13 hits in its win over East Point. Conversely, the local all-stars managed just one hit _ a single by Erika Skillman _ in its two losses to Bloomingdale.

"Our girls were hitting, but it was right where somebody was," Harvey said of her team's performances against Bloomingdale.

Skillman proved to be Land O'Lakes' leader on both sides of the field. The centerfielder tied Samantha Harvey, a catcher, for the team lead in hits with nine. Skillman had a pair of triples and seven singles while Samantha Harvey hit five doubles and four singles.

Skillman also threw out two baserunners in the series and in the East Point game she charged a ball in center and beat a runner to second base for an out.

Land O'Lakes' other top hitters in the series were: Malorie Huey, three singles and one triple; Laura Rau, four singles; Jessica Abel, four singles; Lindsey Estevez, three singles; and Stephanie Syron, two singles.

On the mound, Syron suffered both losses while Brandi Debroux, Estevez and Skillman each had a win.

SENIORS SOFTBALL: Land O'Lakes finished fourth in the district by going 3-2. A 4-3 loss to East Point in the ninth inning set back the team in the opening round. But Land O'Lakes rallied for three straight wins _ 16-5 over North Seminole, 12-2 over North Brandon and 5-0 over Sulphur Springs _ before being eliminated after another loss to East Point, 14-0.

"The first game we played them, we played real close," Land O'Lakes manager Floyd DeForest said, alluding to the East Point games. "The second time, our kids looked real tired. It was a long stretch."

Still, DeForest is enthusiastic about next year's prospects. Five players _ Patricia Debroux, Kim Weimer, Heather Ricks, Cherrie Berringer and Amanda Harmon _ are 13 and are expected to make the post-season squad again next year. Most Senior All-Star teams consist mostly of 14- and 15-year-olds.

"We're going to be a team to be reckoned with for the next two years," DeForest said. "It looks like we've got some players and we've got a halfway decent program here."

Harmon pitched Land O'Lakes to two of its wins and Kelly Kitson went 1-2 in the series.

9-10 SOFTBALL: Land O'Lakes lost 17-16 to Bloomingdale and 26-6 to North Brandon.

9-10 BASEBALL: Land O'Lakes defeated East Bay 7-4 before losing 10-9 to Lutz and 7-3 to North Brandon.

MAJORS BASEBALL: Land O'Lakes fell into a hole early, dropping the first game 3-2 to Lutz. Land O'Lakes then beat Northeast 7-3 and Belmont Heights 11-1 before a series-ending 4-3 loss to North Seminole.

JUNIORS BASEBALL: A 3-2 loss to Temple Terrace in eight innings and a 5-3 loss to Northeast made for a short series for Land O'Lakes.

SENIORS BASEBALL: North Seminole beat Land O'Lakes 7-0 and Lutz won 7-2.

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