Each week, our HomeTeam staffers will nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. These nominations span Saturday, March 23 through Friday, March 29. Winners get a free T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in the area. Read up on what made our nominees stand out then look for our writers’ picks for overall winners in Tuesday’s Tampa Bay Times.
Bernie Anderson, Gulf softball: The senior’s RBI single knocked in the go-ahead run in a 4-3 victory over Mitchell. She finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and made a game-saving play on defense to get the Bucs to the semis of Hernando’s Leopard Slam.
Brooke Freeman, Durant softball: In four games (three of them wins), the junior went 7-for-14 with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs. The highlight: A 3-for-3 effort with two homers and a double in a five-inning, 10-0 rout of Bloomingdale to give the Cougars sole possession of first place in Class 8A,
Alyssa Householder, Countryside softball: The junior was 2-for-3 with a double in a 3-1 win over Nature Coast Tech in the Leopard Slam quarterfinals on Friday. The Cougars (17-1 after Friday) are ranked No. 1 in the state, according to MaxPreps.
Hannah Pridemore, Newsome softball: In two games this week (including an 8-5 win at Plant), the freshman went 5-for-7 with a double and two RBIs, extending her streak of multi-hit games to six in a row. During that stretch, Pridemore is 15-for-22 with six RBIs.
Courtney Riddle, Hernando softball: The Leopards’ ace pitched seven strong innings across wins over Anclote and Chaminade-Madonna to get Hernando to the semifinal of its tournament. She also went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
Danielle Romanello, Canterbury softball: The eighth-grader hit a solo home run, her sixth of the season, to tie host Kissimmee Osceola in the Kissimmee Klassic. The Crusaders lost 3-2.
Daniel Dean, Middleton track: Dean finished first in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs at the Western Conference’s National Division meet on Tuesday. He won the 1,600 in 4.48.70 and the 3,200 in 10:24.40, edging Freedom’s Derik Harvey in both races.
Derek Dious, Pasco baseball: The senior was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate and knocked in two runs in the Pirates’ 6-5 win over Fivay.
Max Geller, St. Petersburg Catholic baseball: The Barons lost two games in the Dunedin Spring tournament, but it wasn't because of Geller. The senior went 9-for-13 in games against Mosley (the eventual tournament champion), Tarpon Springs, Central and Pinellas Park, and won the tournament's top hitter award.
Cole Gordon, Steinbrenner baseball: The 6-foot-5 junior hit his fifth homer of the season, tying him for the county lead, in the fourth inning of a 1-0 district victory over Gaither on Thursday. The home run from Gordon, who also doubled in the sixth, kept the Warriors undefeated in District 7A-9.
Cobi Johnson, Mitchell baseball: The junior FSU commit struck out 13 batters and went 2-for-3 at the plate to help the Mustangs win Northeast’s tournament with a 4-2 victory over the hosts in the final.
David Paul, Clearwater Central Catholic baseball: Paul threw a one hitter in the Marauders’ 14-1 win over Tarpon Springs in the Dunedin Tournament opener. The junior also had three hits against the Spongers. He then earned a save against Dunedin in the third-place game. Paul was named co-pitcher of the tournament.