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DISTRICT SOFTBALL

6A-5 AT GAITHER

SCHEDULE: Wednesday _ King vs. Hillsborough, 2:30; Leto vs. East Lake, 5; Chamberlain vs. Tampa Bay Tech, 7:30; Thursday _ Leto-East Lake winner vs. Chamberlain-Tampa Bay Tech winner, 5; Gaither vs. King-Hillsborough winner, 7:30; Friday _ Championship, 8.

OUTLOOK: After struggling through the first half of the season, East Lake rebounded and showed its potential at the Rams Classic in Ridgewood two weeks ago. The Eagles defeated district foe Gaither and defending state champion Bloomingdale to make the final. That performance could give the Eagles, the only Pinellas team in this district, some momentum this week.

5A-10 AT HOYT FIELD

SCHEDULE: Monday _ Boca Giega vs. Gibbs, 4; Lakewood vs. Dixie, 6; Tuesday _ St. Petersburg vs. Lakewood-Dixie Hollins winner, 4; Northeast vs. Boca Ciega-Gibbs winner, 6; Thursday _ Championship, 7.

OUTLOOK: The Green Devils advanced to regionals the past two years by finishing second in their district. St. Petersburg has higher hopes this season, starting with a district title. The question, is who would the Green Devils play? Northeast, the No. 2 seed, has been inconsistent, despite having eight starters back, including ace Amanda Bettker.

5A-9 AT BOMBER STADIUM

SCHEDULE: Tuesday _ Largo vs. Pinellas Park, 4; Countryside vs. Dunedin, 7; Wednesday _ Seminole vs. Largo-Pinellas Park winner, 4; Clearwater vs. Countryside-Dunedin winner, 7; Friday _ Championship, 6.

OUTLOOK: Seminole, traditionally a strong club, would like to break tradition this week. The Warhawks, the No. 1 seed, are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Clearwater, the No. 2 seed, has suffered injuries to key players and lost senior Kelle Keyes to knee surgery two weeks ago. Even so, the Tornadoes have played well. Countryside, which made it to the regional final last year, will have a tougher time getting out of districts as the No. 3 seed.

4A-12 AT WHARTON

SCHEDULE: Monday _ Blake vs. Osceola, 4; Tuesday _ Blake-Osceola winner vs. Palm Harbor U., 4; Robinson vs. Wharton, 7; Thursday _ Championship, 7.

OUTLOOK: Palm Harbor University is the dominant team and clinched the No. 1 seed more than a month ago. The Hurricanes, a team without any seniors, has matured rapidly and are a threat to go far in the playoffs. They have not lost to a Class 4A team this year. Osceola, the other Pinellas team in this district, has just two victories but most of its losses have come from schools in higher classifications.

3A-9 AT ACADEMY OF HOLY NAMES

SCHEDULE: Wednesday _ Berkeley Prep vs. CCC, 3; Academy vs. St. Petersburg Catholic, 5; Friday _ Championship, 4.

OUTLOOK: Clearwater Central Catholic and St. Petersburg Catholic have a chance to get to the final, provided the schools can get past some tough competition in the semifinals. The Marauders received a lift last month with the return of shortstop Allison Southmayd, academically ineligible the first part of the season.

2A-10 AT TAMPA PREP

SCHEDULE: Tuesday _ Temple Heights vs. Northside Christian, 4:30; Friday _ Championship, Tampa Prep vs. Northside Christian-Temple Heights winner, 4:30.

OUTLOOK: In a three-team district, the Mustangs hope not to be the team out of the mix. They can ensure that by beating Temple Heights in the semifinal and returning to the post-season after missing out last season.

A-10 AT SHORECREST

SCHEDULE: Tuesday _ Canterbury vs. Oldsmar Chr., 2; Keswick Chr. vs. Lakeside Chr., 4; Thursday _ Indian Rocks Chr. vs. Keswick-Lakeside winner, 2; Shorecrest vs. Canterbury-Oldsmar winner, 4; Friday _ Championship, 4.

OUTLOOK: In a topsy-turvy district, the Chargers remain the constant. Shorecrest swept its district counterparts during the regular season and figure to do the same this week. The Chargers advanced to regionals with a runner-up finish a year ago and are trying to win their first fast-pitch title in school history.

_ BOB PUTNAM

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