Before the start of the fast-pitch season, Rob Rossi scoured Little League fields to field a team.
But his work paid off as the Clearwater Bullets 13-and-under team, which plays in the 14-and-under bracket, finished third out of 30 teams in the National Softball Association State Championships held in Homestead.
Carmela Liwag won four games, helped by the errorless performance of Kristin Weber, Tammy Zimmerman, Heather Hodges and DeAnn Misilmeri. The outfielders were Tonya Griffin, Jennifer Biala, Kim Patterson and Heather Morrison. Sandy Rossi was used as a reliever and Gerry Canezo pinch-ran.
CLEARWATER BOMBERS 10-UNDER: The Bombers, in their first year of fast-pitch, finished second in the NSA state tournament, losing to the Plantation Pressure 3-0 in the championship game.
The Bombers used three pitchers _ Amanda Miller, Ashley Hodges and Kelli Cora _ and were helped out on defense by Kristina Hilberth, Sara Stack, Sarah Kohlbrenner, Carlie Trudell and Cheryl Stephens. Offensively, they were led by Ashley VanRyn, Nikki Delandy, Dani Hofer, Carly Griffin and Nicole Forbes.
CLEARWATER BULLETS 12-UNDER: Playing in the NSA state tournament in Homestead, the Bullets rolled through the losers' bracket to capture fifth place.
After losing their first game, the Bullets won their next four to advance to the semifinals. But the Bullets lost 5-1 to the Tampa Mustangs to end their run. Shannon Waitekus went 3-for-3 with an RBI in the semifinal game.
CLEARWATER BULLETS 17-UNDER: They finished second in the North Florida NSA state tournament held in Pensacola. After losing their first game, the Bullets won their next six games to reach the championship game.
Kelli Lightner (Clearwater), Cristy Broome (Boca Ciega) and Dawn Buytas (Plant) were the pitchers. Monique Marier (Clearwater) hit a home run and Dana Vickery (Clearwater) had a double. Against Waukula, Becky Morris (Lakeland High) and Crystal Boyer (Clearwater) completed a double play with runners on first and third.
CLEARWATER BOMBERS 18-UNDER: After winning their first five games of the NSA state tournament, the Bombers lost to the Miami Wave 6-1 in the final to place second.