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Teams at a glance

By CAREY FREEMAN and KEITH NIEBUHR
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 17, 2002


CITRUS

COACH: Scott Waters, fourth year.

2001 RECORD: 17-8, lost to Crystal River in district semifinal.

TOP RETURNEES: Alycia LePage, Jr., SS; Mettina Maggiore, Jr., 2B; Brittney Doyle, Jr., 1B; Krissi Castiglione, Sr., 1B/3B; Megan Rall, Jr., P; Whitney Gelin, Jr., C; Jessica Macdonald, Sr., OF; Jessica Baum, Sr., OF; Rebecca Daigle, Sr., OF; Ashley Worrell, Jr., 3B.

TOP NEWCOMERS: Krystle Cummings, Sr., P/3B; Brittney Squire, So., OF; Tara Neumann, Jr., P/OF; Jessica Fergerson, So., C/OF; Kalli Grimes, So., 3B.

OUTLOOK: The Hurricanes have lost to Crystal River two straight years in the district tournament and will take a new approach that stresses teamwork and discipline in an effort to capitalize on their solid talent. Gone is three-year starting pitcher Tabitha Schruffer, but Citrus returns Megan Rall, Tara Neumann and Crystal River transfer Krystle Cummings, who shut out the 'Canes in last year's district semifinal.

SCHEDULE: Feb.: 19 -- at Mount Dora, 6 p.m.; 21 -- South Sumter, 7; 22 -- at Williston, 7; 26 -- at Crystal River, 6; 28 -- Central, 6. March: 1 -- at Dunnellon, 7 p.m.; 6 -- at Umatilla, 7; 8 -- Williston, 7; 14 -- Hernando, 6; 15 -- at Belleview, 6:30; 18 -- at Lecanto, 7; 19 -- at Leesburg, 4:30; 21 -- Crystal River, 6; 26 -- Leesburg, 5. April: 2 -- Lecanto, 6 p.m.; 4 -- Dunnellon, 6; 5 -- Springstead, 6; 8 -- at Central, 6; 10 -- Belleview, 6; 12 -- at Hernando, 6:30; 15 -- at South Sumter, 6; 17 -- at Springstead, 6; 19 -- Mount Dora, 6.

CRYSTAL RIVER

COACH: Lana Hough, first year.

2001 RECORD: 15-16, lost to Hernando in regional final.

TOP RETURNEES: J.J. Bullion, Sr., RF; Alisa Tisdale, Jr., CF; Eleshia Young, Jr., LF; Melissa Coburn, Sr., 3B; Ashley Williams, Jr., SS; Candice Miller, Sr., 2B; Cassie Pearson, So., P.

TOP NEWCOMERS: Jennifer Arnold, Jr., C; Emily Bayer, So., P; Ashley Bullion, Fr., 1B; JaVonna Grimsley, Fr., C.

OUTLOOK: The defending regional finalist is ready for another trip deep into the state playoffs. Seven starters return from last year, including hard-hitting third baseman Coburn and Pearson. Hough led the Pirates to a final four berth in 1997 and thinks they have the tools to make it back to that level. Helping matters is the transfer of Bayer, who led the county in ERA last year before an injury sidelined her for the latter half of the season.

SCHEDULE: Feb: 9 -- Ridgewood Classic, 10 a.m.; 15 -- Belleview, 7 p.m.; 16 -- PHCC, TBA; 19 -- Springstead, 6:30; 22 -- at South Sumter, 7; 25 -- at Lecanto, 6; 26 -- Citrus, 6; 28 -- Williston, 7. March: 6 -- at Dunnellon, 7 p.m.; 8 -- Hernando, 6:30; 13 -- at Central, 6; 14 -- Lecanto, 6; 15 -- at Williston, 7; 19 -- Dunnellon, 6; 21 -- at Citrus, 6; 22 -- at Hernando, 6:30; 29-30 -- Ridgewood Tournament, TBA. April: 2 -- Central, 6 p.m.; 5-6 -- Alachua Santa Fe Tournament, TBA; 8 -- at North Marion, 6; 10 -- at Springstead, 6; 12 -- South Sumter, 6; 17 -- North Marion, 6:30; 19 -- Belleview, 6.

LECANTO

COACH: Amy Lilley, eighth year.

2001 RECORD: 14-12, lost to Pasco in district semifinal.

TOP RETURNEES: Jill Bandhauer, Sr., C; Shannon McConnell, Sr., CF; Dana Teller, Jr., LF; Haley Nicholson, So., 3B; Megan Albright, Jr., 2B; Amanda Whitelaw, Jr., 1B.

TOP NEWCOMERS: Niki Pontious, Fr., P; Ericka Myles, Jr., P.

OUTLOOK: The Panthers have two of the best hitters in the area in Bandhauer (.468 average, 11 doubles) and Teller (.304, 2 home runs). But Lecanto will have to fill some major gaps on the pitching staff after losing its top two starters to graduation and transfer, respectively. Youth could be a problem early. The key will be getting consistent improvement from the freshmen and sophomores.

SCHEDULE: Feb.: 9 -- Belleview Classic, TBA; 13 -- Belleview, 6:30 p.m.; 20 -- Dunnellon, 7; 21 -- at Ocala Forest, 7; 25 -- Crystal River, 6; 27 -- at North Marion, 6. March: 1 -- at Leesburg, 7 p.m.; 6 -- at Springstead, 6:30; 7 -- Central, 6; 8 -- at Dunnellon, 7; 13 -- Hernando, 6:30; 14 -- at Crystal River, 6; 15 -- Leesburg, 7; 18 -- Citrus, 7; 20 -- Springstead, 6:30; 21 -- at Central, 6. April: 2 -- at Citrus, 6 p.m.; 5-6 -- Alachua Santa Fe Tournament, TBA; 8 -- Ocala Vanguard, 7; 11 -- North Marion, 6:30; 12 -- at Belleview, 6; 16 -- at Hernando, 6:30; 18 -- Ocala Forest, 6; 19 -- at Ocala Vanguard, 6.

SEVEN RIVERS CHRISTIAN

COACH: Paul Kalfa, first year.

2001 RECORD: 9-7, lost to Jacksonville Arlington Country Day in the first round of the playoffs.

TOP RETURNEES: Danielle Toms, Fr., Kashia Tubman, Jr., Jennifer Green, eighth-grader.

TOP NEWCOMERS: Aubrey Jacks, So.; Alice Zeiss, Fr.; Betsy Edwards, Sr.; Bethany Woods, seventh; Cassidy Rash, sixth; Chelsea Ebert, seventh; Danielle Koleniak, eighth; Elissa O'Dell, eighth; Erica Deloach, seventh; Katie Amesbury, seventh; Kelly Rairick, So.; Laura Herm, eighth; Lindsey Snyder, seventh; Megan Olive, seventh; Melissa Hamilton, So.; Rachel Peshek, seventh; Sarah Harvey, seventh; Beth Linley, So.

OUTLOOK: The Warriors lost six seniors to graduation and return only eight players of high-school age. Seven Rivers Christian probably would be better off playing a junior varsity schedule, but it has to compete at the varsity level or risk four years of probation -- including no postseason play -- under Florida High School Activities Association rules.

SCHEDULE: Feb.: 22 -- Ocala Christian. March: 7 -- at Cedar Key, 4 p.m.; 12 -- Pine Castle, 4; 15 -- at West Oaks, 4; 18 -- Mount Dora Bible, 4; 21 -- at Central Florida Christian Academy, 4; 22 -- Orlando Lutheran, 4. April: 4 -- at Orlando Lutheran, 4 p.m.; 5 -- West Oaks, 4; 8 -- at Mount Dora Bible, 7; 9 -- at Pine Castle, 4:30; 12 -- Central Florida Christian Academy, 4; 19 -- Cedar Key, 4.

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