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Saint Leo ready to honor new hall of famers

Pasco High athletic director Willie Broner Jr. and former two-sport standout Susan M. Weicherding will be the 59th and 60th inductees into the Saint Leo Athletic Hall of Fame.

Induction ceremonies are Thursday at 6 p.m. at the McDonald Center on campus.

"You play sports your whole life and it puts it all in perspective," said Weicherding, a 1989 graduate who starred in basketball and volleyball for the then-Monarchs (which last year became the Lions). "It kind of caps off that you've worked hard for something."

"I played, but I didn't have the big numbers," said Broner, a centerfielder for Saint Leo from 1971-74 who is being recognized primarily for his achievements since graduating.

In 18 seasons, Broner coached the Pasco boys basketball team to 305 wins and to the 1995 state semifinals. This season, he stepped in to fill a vacancy as Pasco's softball coach.

Weicherding won state high school championships in basketball as a junior in Colorado and in volleyball as a senior at Brandon before playing both sports at Saint Leo.

She played on the 1986 volleyball team that won a school-record 20 games and is the only Saint Leo volleyball player named to the All-Sunshine State Conference first team.

In basketball, Weicherding is the school's third-leading rebounder (404) and is third in career assist average (3.0).

Tickets for Saint Leo's 14th annual Athletic Hall of Fame reception and dinner are $25. Call (352) 588-8221 for more information.

LIONS ROAR BACK: After losing the first game of their series with Barry 11-2 on Friday, the Saint Leo baseball team quickly found itself in a similar situation the next day.

On the verge of two lopsided losses that threatened to steal the momentum the Lions had gained during the last month, Saint Leo managed to fight back, tie the game, lose the lead and then win 11-9.

"We got it to 8-3, then we got it to 8-5, then it was 8-6," Saint Leo coach Eddie Stabile said. "Then we took the lead."

And the series. Buoyed by their rally, the Lions went on to beat Barry 4-3 in the finale to improve to 18-12 on the season. Since a 1-6 start, the Lions, ranked 29th in the latest Division II poll, are 17-6.

Brian Melko, who started the year as a pinch-hitter before losing the job and earning it back, went 5-for-5 with three runs and three RBI in the comeback win. The freshman outfielder raised his average to .385, and his eight doubles in 52 at-bats are second on the team.

The Lions' game against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell was rained out Monday and will be made up Thursday at 7 p.m.

RAIN . . . WHO NEEDS IT: While most people on the Suncoast welcomed Monday's rain, the Pasco-Hernando Community College baseball team probably was not too happy about it.

With two wins in its past six games, including Saturday's 9-6 win against Hillsborough, the Conquistadors would have preferred playing Hillsborough again on Monday.

PHCC (13-15) erased a two-run deficit by scoring seven runs in the last two innings to beat HCC on Saturday.

Carl DiMartino's two-run double helped PHCC score four runs in the eighth.

David Gariepy, who went 4-for-5, and DiMartino had RBI singles in PHCC's three-run ninth.

PHCC reliever Alan Green earned the win to even his record at 2-2 and Donnie Kirschner picked up his first save.

_ STEVE LEE, JOHN C. COTEY

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