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District tournaments

By GREG AUMAN and STEVE LEE
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 21, 2002


3A-10 BASEBALL

WHERE: Mulberry.

WHO: 1. Pasco (7-1), 2. Bartow (5-3), 3. Mulberry (5-3), 4. Zephyrhills (2-6), 5. Wesley Chapel (1-7).

SCHEDULE: Tuesday -- Zephyrhills vs. Wesley Chapel, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday -- Pasco vs. ZH-WC winner, 5 p.m., Bartow vs. Mulberry, 7:30 p.m.; Friday -- Championship, 7:30 p.m.

ADMISSION: $4 per session.

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 75 south to State Road 60 exit. Take 60 east 23 miles to Mulberry. Turn left on NE 13th Ave., right on NE 4th St., then left on Panther Place.

AT STAKE: The two finalists advance to the 32-team regional playoffs, which open April 30. District champions host in the first round, while runners-up must open the playoffs on the road.

THE SKINNY: Zephyrhills swept Wesley Chapel, and if the Bulldogs can get a big game on the mound, they could make things interesting with Pasco. The wild card is Bartow, which served as Pasco's only district loss and Wesley Chapel's only district win.

4A-8 BASEBALL

WHERE: River Ridge.

WHO: 1. Ridgewood (11-1), 2. Hudson (8-4), 3. River Ridge (6-6), 4. Tarpon Springs (6-6), 5. Land O'Lakes (6-6), 6. Mitchell (3-9), 7. Gulf (2-10).

SCHEDULE: Monday -- Tarpon Springs vs. Land O'Lakes, 2 p.m., Hudson vs. Gulf, 5 p.m., River Ridge vs. Mitchell, 8 p.m.; Tuesday -- Hudson-Gulf winner vs. River Ridge-Mitchell winner, TBA; Ridgewood vs. Tarpon Springs-Mitchell winner, TBA (games at 5 and 8 p.m.); Thursday -- Championship, 8 p.m.

ADMISSION: $4 per session.

AT STAKE: The two finalists advance to the 32-team regional playoffs, which open April 30. District champions host in the first round, while runners-up must open the playoffs on the road.

THE SKINNY: With the bye, Ridgewood can throw Ronnie Lowe (9-0) and Richie Hittel (6-1) and have Matt Laliberte (5-1) for relief. Everyone else faces three games in four nights. Solid pitching and team speed make Ridgewood and Hudson the favorites.

4A-8 SOFTBALL

WHERE: River Ridge.

WHO: 1. River Ridge (12-0), 2. Land O'Lakes (8-4), 3. Tarpon Springs (8-4), 4. Ridgewood (7-5), 5. Mitchell (7-5), 6. Hudson (2-10), 7. Gulf (0-12).

SCHEDULE: Tuesday -- Ridgewood vs. Mitchell, 3 p.m., Tarpon Springs vs. Hudson, 5 p.m., Land O'Lakes vs. Gulf, 7 p.m.; Wednesday -- LOL/Gulf winner vs. TS/Hudson winner, 5 p.m., River Ridge vs. Ridgewood/Mitchell winner, 7 p.m.; Friday -- Championship, 7 p.m.

ADMISSION: $4.

AT STAKE: Two regional playoff berths with the district champion hosting a quarterfinal and the runner-up playing on the road.

THE SKINNY: River Ridge's two losses have come in tournament finals, making the Knights obvious favorites. Runner-up is a tossup between Land O'Lakes, Tarpon Springs, Ridgewood and Mitchell. With six seniors and a strong 1-2 pitching punch in Christine Beck and Kiki Von Holt, the Knights are almost certain to advance past the regional quarters for the first time.

3A-10 SOFTBALL

WHERE: Zephyrhills.

WHO: 1. Bartow (8-0), 2. Pasco (6-2), 3. Mulberry (3-5), 4. Zephyrhills (3-5), 5. Wesley Chapel (0-8).

SCHEDULE: Tuesday -- Zephyrhills vs. Wesley Chapel, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday -- Pasco vs. Mulberry, 5 p.m., Bartow vs. Zephyrhills/Wesley Chapel winner, 7:30 p.m.; Friday -- Championship, 7:30 p.m.

ADMISSION: $4.

AT STAKE: Two regional playoff berths with the district champion hosting a quarterfinal and the district runner-up playing on the road.

THE SKINNY: Two-time state champion Bartow (2000 and 1997) is the class of the field and with a 25-2 record has a shot at returning to the state playoffs. Bartow lost last year's state final, 1-0 to Clay. Outside of Wesley Chapel, the other teams have played inconsistent. Pasco pitcher Christina Harris could help the Pirates secure the second playoff spot up for grabs in this series.

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