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Vikings keep date with Green Devils

The site has changed, the calendar has turned over, but St. Petersburg and Northeast are back.

For the second straight year, the Green Devils and the Vikings, the top two seeds going into the Class 5A, District 10 tournament at Hoyt Field, will meet in Friday night's championship game at 7.

St. Petersburg advanced with a 12-1 semifinal victory over Lakewood and is guaranteed a berth in the regional quarterfinals for the third straight year.

Relying on the hitting of Nikki Myers and Erica Crane, the Green Devils scored three runs in the first inning to set the tone.

Myers, who reached on a single in the first, scored the winning run on a single by Crane. The seniors each went 2-for-3 and scored twice.

Heather McEligot earned the win and struck out five.

Trish Murphy went 2-for-2 to lead the Spartans.

In the other semifinal, the defending district champion Vikings beat Boca Ciega 4-3.

Constance Tongel, who was 2-for-4, had the game-winning hit, a single in the bottom of the fourth inning that brought home Angel Rivera.

Amanda Bettker retired seven of the Pirates' final 10 batters, including the last two on strikeouts, for the win.

Boca Ciega starter Laura Johnson struck out four.

St. Petersburg and Northeast established themselves as the premier teams in their district. The only question left to ponder is which of these teams is on top.

So far, it's been the Green Devils. They beat the Vikings three times in the regular season, plus once in a preseason classic in February.

5A-8: Gulf edges Tarpon

Springs, 3-2

Gulf (10-9) turned a triple play to key a 4-3 win over Tarpon Springs, the Buccaneers' first district tourney win since 1995.

Trailing 3-2, the Spongers (8-15) tied the game in the top of the third inning and had the bases loaded with no out.

But Gulf shortstop Gabby Henderson snagged a sinking line shot, tagged the runner leading off second base and then threw to first base to complete a triple play.

In the bottom of the inning, Liz Leoty walked, was sacrificed to second and then stole third before scoring on Kelly Parker's groundout.

Leoty, the speedy centerfielder, was 2-for-2 with two walks, two steals and two runs scored for the Bucs.

Becky Stanzione held off Tarpon Springs the rest of the way for a complete-game win. The Bucs meet top-seeded Ridgewood in one semifinal today at 5 p.m.

_ JOHN C. COTEY

4A-12: PHU throws

no-hitter at Osceola

TAMPA _ Palm Harbor University's Mary Goldman threw a five-inning no-hitter and allowed just three baserunners as the Hurricanes defeated Osceola 11-0 in the Class 4A, District 11 semifinals at Wharton.

PHU (20-7) meets Wharton (7-12), which beat Robinson 7-5 in eight innings, in Thursday night's championship game.

"We were somewhat worried because we have four starters who didn't play due to injury today," PHU coach Chuck Poetter said.

"We had people out of position. But she (Goldman) did such a great job on the mound and everyone rallied around her."

PHU clinched the game with six runs in the fifth inning. Louise Goetz and Lauren Goldoni each had two-run doubles.

Goetz and Goldoni also had RBI singles in PHU's four-run first inning.

_ JOEY JOHNSTON

2A-10: Mustangs ousted

by Temple Heights

TAMPA _ Paced by a seven-run third, Temple Heights defeated Northside Christian 13-3 in five innings to move on to Friday's district championship against Tampa Prep.

Making just her second appearance of the year, Eagles pitcher Katie Timpone (2-0), a seventh-grader, held the Mustangs (10-11) in check while the offense poured it on.

"I don't think she really knows how much pressure there is," said Eagles coach Angela Nelson.

With Temple Heights' primary pitcher, Erin Holbin, still questionable for Friday's game, Timpone may get the call again.

Northside's Kiri Hooper (0-1) was plagued with control problems throughout the game, particularly in the third.

She walked six Eagles as Temple Heights (9-9) sent 12 batters to the plate.

The Eagles then scored four runs in the fourth, and ended the game in the fifth when T.J. Johnson knocked in Amanda Flynn with a one-out single.

_ ERIC RANGUS

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