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TAMPA BAY TEAM TRIPPED BY BIG INNING

For the second day in a row, the big inning proved insurmountable for Palma Ceia/Tampa Bay/Interbay as it fell 6-4 to West Virginia on Saturday in the Little League Softball Southern Regional tournament.

West Virginia used a five-hit, three-error inning to score five runs in the third coupled with a run in second.

In Friday's game against North Carolina, PC/TB/IB gave up seven runs in the second inning, but scored late in the game only to fall 7-6. Similarly, down 6-1, PC/TB/IB added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth but ended the game with a bases-loaded groundout.

"Our offense has come through for us so many times," manager Lee Pitisci said. "And we thought they could today."

Alexis Jackson drove in PC/TB/IB's first run on a double through the middle to the centerfield wall. Blair Martin had an RBI double in the fifth inning and later scored.

The loss drops Florida's representative to 0-2 in its four-team pool.

OFF THE BENCH: PC/TB/IB's Sabrina Cuizio is 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run scored and a triple in two games coming off the bench.

ODDS AND ENDS: The life of a league president means travel at all-star time, but Palma Ceia's Greg Sinadinos has taken it to a new level. In the case of PC/TB/IB's state championship win, Sinadinos, who was out of town on business, planned to fly to Orlando from Detroit in time to drive to the game's start in Deland. However, a 40-minute delay and then a 40-minute drive had Sinadinos arriving in time for the last inning of the team's win.

"Of all the days for my plane to be late," Sinadinos said. "I pulled in for the bottom of the last inning, and to be with the girls to celebrate and see their faces was absolutely incredible."

This weekend Sinadinos has crisscrossed the bay area between the Southern Regional tournament in Gulfport and PC/TB/IB's junior softball team in the state tournament in Bloomingdale, more than 60 miles away.

With the combination of the Little Leagues making up PC/TB/IB, parents from all three leagues appreciate Sinadinos' work.

"His enthusiasm is contagious," said John Hill, father of PC/TB/IB's Ashton Hill.

Hill has had two children play for 15 years at Tampa Bay.

Next season Sinadinos will have a new position as District 6 administrator after eight years as Palma Ceia's president.

"It's bittersweet," Sinadinos said. "But now not only do I get to help Palma Ceia, I get to help our whole district."

FAST FACTS

Southern Regional

Where: Arnold S. White Stadium, 658 58th St. S, Gulfport

Directions from Tampa: Head south on I-275 toward St. Petersburg. Take Fifth Ave. N exit and at the end of the ramp turn right (west). Follow Fifth Ave. to 58th St. and turn left (south). Continue on 58th St. to Seventh Ave. S. The stadium is on the left just past the Royal Palms Cemetery. Parking is available in Boca Ciega High School parking lot.

Pool A

Team Record

North Carolina 1-1

Virginia 2-0

Palma Ceia/Tampa Bay/Interbay 0-2

West Virginia 1-1

Pool B

South Carolina 2-0

Georgia 1-1

Alabama 0-2

Tennessee 1-1

Schedule

Today: North Carolina vs. West Virginia, noon; Alabama vs. South Carolina, 2:30 p.m.; Georgia vs. Tennessee, 5 p.m.; PC/TB/IB vs. Virginia, 7:30 p.m.

Monday: Consolation games, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.; semifinals, 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Championship, 6 p.m.

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