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County sends 13 to playoffs

By TERRY JONES
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 28, 2002

County teams dominated district play last week, winning championships in seven tournaments and taking runner-up honors in six. That means 13 teams will compete in regional quarterfinals Tuesday.

In Class 6A, District 5, Riverview finally got the edge over Bloomingdale, capturing the title and homefield advantage for the quarterfinals. Bloomingdale won two previous meetings in extra innings.

"We finally got a few runs," Riverview coach Angie Slater said of the Sharks' 3-0 win. "We definitely need to make some improvements though. We will work on our hitting in two light workouts before Tuesday. If we both keep going, we will meet Bloomingdale for a fourth game in the regional finals."

Beth DiPietro is the catalyst for the Sharks. The consistent pitcher is 22-4 with a 0.34 ERA and 353 strikeouts.

Academy of the Holy Names, perhaps the most-improved team in the county, shut out a strong Berkeley Prep squad 1-0 to win the 2A-11 title. The Jaguars enter the regional playoffs 19-1, the best record in the county. Their only loss was to Berkeley Prep.

AHN has solid pitching with sophomore Jennifer Jacobs and a solid lineup. In their 20 games, the Jaguars have scored 173 runs and given up 23.

"As long as we continue playing our game, we will be competitive," Jaguars coach Larry Rodriguez said. "Our defense is strong, hitting is consistent and we have solid pitching. As long as we continue to play together as a team, we will do all right."

In Class 5A, four teams earned trips to the regional playoffs.

Chamberlain's Amanda Cody shut out Leto 8-0 for the District 8 title and Plant City blanked Durant 4-0 to take District 7. For the Falcons, it will be their first playoff berth since the school converted to fast pitch.

Durant will play at Chamberlain on Tuesday. "(Our team) started swinging the bats real well in the district tournament," Chamberlain coach Bob Diez said. "They struggled for a while after the spring break, but are getting back to consistency at a good time. I see them with a good frame of mind for the beginning of the playoffs."

Tampa Catholic won the three-team 3A-9 tournament with a 10-4 victory over Osceola and Plant pulled off a big 5-4 upset of Tampa Bay Tech in the 4A-9 semifinals only to fall 11-0 to Sickles in six innings in the title game.

Seminole Presbyterian and Bayshore Christian will represent A-10.

TUESDAY'S GAMES

All games start at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

CLASS 6A

Royal Palm Beach (21-5) at Riverview (24-5)

Bloomingdale (23-6) at Palm Beach Gardens (20-8)

CLASS 5A

Leto (12-8) at Plant City (16-9)

Durant (17-6) at Chamberlain (23-6)

CLASS 4A

Lake Gibson (13-15) at Sickles (20-3)

Plant (18-10) at Lakeland George Jenkins (23-7)

CLASS 3A

Pasco (12-12) at Tampa Catholic (14-10)

CLASS 2A

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (14-15) at Academy of the Holy Names (19-1), 4 p.m.

Berkeley Prep (22-8) at St. Petersburg Catholic (25-5), 4 p.m.

CLASS A

Bayshore Chr. (7-17) at Lakeland Chr. (15-5), Westwind Field, 4 p.m.

Winter Haven All Saints' (10-9) at Seminole Presbyterian (25-5), Rome & Sligh Field, 4 p.m.

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