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Girls softball team finishes season with 45-10 record

(ran EO edition)

The Strike Force 14-and-under fastpitch softball team recently completed a successful season with a 45-10 record.

The teenagers won one tournament and finished second in the National Invitational Tournament in Kissimmee. At the state tournament, the team finished sixth. At the National Softball Association World Series, Strike Force finished 12th out of 111 teams. That result placed them ahead of 13 other Florida teams that also participated in the tournament.

"We had a good season," said Johnny Dawkins, one of the coaches.

He said the girls have played together for only two years.

The team was made up of players from as far away as Jacksonville and as near as East Lake.

The girls from East Lake were Nikki Hutchens, Amanda Dawkins, Nicole Britenriker and Tracy Legnon.

Players from Pasco County were Megan Fehley, Breanne Hill, Keimi Marteli, Mandy Udovich and Keri Longnecker.

Teammates from Jacksonville were Courtney Timmons, Laura Richards, Megan Pickelsimer, Ashleigh Dunnington and Michelle LaPointe.

Coaching them were Dawkins, Jimmy Timmons, Tom Legnon, Kevin Hill, Bryan Williams and Gregg Dunnington.

How did the team members, so spread out geographically, get together and practice?

"We met in January and April at church camps," Dawkins said. "They spent weekends together and learned defense. The girls got to know each other."

Because of the success the Strike Force had this year and because girls softball is so popular, organizers are looking forward to the 2000 season.

Tryouts will take place in September and October.

"We're going to play in a couple of tournaments, two or three, in the fall," Dawkins said. "We'll play 10 tournaments in the year 2000."

If you would like to be part of the 14-and-under or 16-and-under teams, call Dawkins at (727) 787-9234 or Hill at (727) 842-1918.

_ If you have news about East Lake organizations, churches, schools, neighborhoods or residents, please contact Eileen Schulte at the North Pinellas Times. You may call her at (727) 445-4229, fax material to her at (727) 445-4206 or mail it to the North Pinellas Times, 34342 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.