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Baseball, softball teams stay alive in state tourneys

Pinellas teams in Little League and the Florida Little Major League continue to win in state tournaments.

LITTLE LEAGUE: The three Seminole teams representing Section 4 all had 1-1 records after Sunday's games, but the Majors lost 3-2 to Section 1 Monday night and were eliminated.

The 9-10 team won 5-4 before losing 12-6, and the Juniors lost 13-9 but came back with an 8-2 win. The Majors had lost 3-0 to Section 3, then shut out Section 2 9-0 with the help of Luis Guerrero's grand slam.

The District 12 Rockies made the Big League baseball state final with a 4-2 win over Section 1 Sunday. Brandon Wheeler had nine strikeouts and hit two doubles. Pete Sepulveda scored two runs and Pete Kopz went 2-for-4.

Saturday, the Rockies beat Section 3 7-2 behind Easton's five-hitter. Offensively, Joe Ronnloff was 4-for-4 with three RBI and Casey McDonald went 2-for-4. The Rockies play Section 2 Tuesday in Jacksonville for the state title.

In softball, Countryside's Majors posted a 14-5 victory over Section 2 Sunday. Jennifer Battaglia, Jessica Engelmann and Sara Shaw combined to pitch a five-hitter. Katie Caughell, Katrina Dowd, Laura Falla, Brooke Johannessen and Jayme Rupert sparked the offense.

Section 4's West Pasco Big League softball team rolled over Section 2 Monday night 12-1 in six innings behind the pitching of Molly Riney and Leigh Williams. Autumn Lynch went 2-for-4 with a home run, Tara Stefron went 4-for-4 with three RBI, Prudence Boyer was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, and Jennifer Murnell went 2-for-3 scoring three runs.

West Pasco also defeated Section 1, with Tara Ford, Riney and Sara Tarnawski combining for the 3-2 win. Boyer brought in a run in the first inning, and Ford hit a two-RBI single in the fifth for the win.

CORRECTION: In Sunday's 9-10 Little League softball game between Section 3 (Citrus Park) and Section 2, Krystal Crooks pitched three innings, striking out six. Theresa Marotta pitched the last inning, striking out three. Crooks also went 2-for-4, and Marotta 4-for-4 with a triple in Citrus Park's 16-5 victory.

FLORIDA LITTLE MAJOR LEAGUE: Northwest's Brian Dopirak pitched a 4-0 shutout Sunday against Tallahassee. Dopirak and Tyler Powers each hit homers, and Phil Peters helped out on offense. Northwest has not been scored on yet in the ages 11-12 tournament.

PAL TEAM 4-1 IN NATIONALS: St. Petersburg PAL won when it needed to most, advancing into medal play in the AAU under-11 national youth baseball tournament at Des Moines, Iowa.

Pitcher Lastings Milledge threw a one-hitter and Doug Henriott hit a grand slam as St. Petersburg opened with a 5-0 shutout of Iowa. Then came an 18-3 win over Missouri and a 9-4 victory over Michigan behind pitcher Tim Liberty and Brian LeClerc's two hits.

After a 5-4 loss to Georgia, St. Petersburg rebounded with a 6-5 win over Ohio in seven innings. Milledge had 15 strikeouts, and Matt McKenna hit a double in the bottom of the seventh to score Eric Luttmann for the winning run. St. Petersburg needed that win to advance to the final 16 since there already was another team in its pool at 4-1.

Also making it to medal play with a 3-1 mark were the Tampa Tornados.

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