Citrus Park wins another senior title, but its dominance of softball at Tournament of Champions ends.
By ANTHONY GALGIANO
Published June 8, 2003
The face of softball in District 6 may be changing. After Citrus Park won all four divisions in the 2002 Lorenzo "Tapi" Rodriguez Tournament of Champions, parity reigned this year.
Only the senior (15-16) girls won for Citrus Park, and the four champions came from four leagues.
Northside won the junior (13-14) title, and Tampa Bay took the major (11-12) softball crown. West Tampa won the minor (9-10) division.
Citrus Park's success in 2002 followed an impressive run the previous season, when it won three of the four divisions.
Citrus Park has owned the senior division, winning five straight titles. It started this year's tournament with a 13-1 victory against Bayshore in the first round, then shut out Tampa Bay 6-0 in the semifinal of the winner's bracket. Tampa Bay beat Bayshore to get another shot at Citrus Park, but lost 15-2 in the championship game.
The Citrus Park Rays came close to winning the league's third straight junior championship, but Northside was a little bit better. Northside won 7-6 in the winner's bracket final and shut out the Rays in the championship, winning 1-0.
Citrus Park beat Northside 11-9 in the junior final in 2002.
Tampa Bay outscored its last two opponents 20-0 to win Field A of the major division, then beat Northside 5-1 and 4-3 in the championship series to claim the title.
West Tampa scored 63 runs in five games to go undefeated en route to the minor championship, and Palma Ceia won the junior baseball crown.
In the District 13 President's Tournament, host New Tampa rallied through the loser's bracket to get a rematch with Belmont Heights in the major baseball division, but lost again as Belmont went on to win the championship.
After losing to Belmont Heights in a semifinal in the winner's bracket, New Tampa had to win three games to reach the championship of the North bracket, while Belmont had to win one game. Belmont won the rematch, then beat the South champion to win the title.
In the senior bracket, North Brandon defeated North Seminole for the title. North Seminole's run came up shy after it fought back from losing its second game to come within a win of the championship.
North Seminole beat Lutz in its first-round matchup, but lost to Belmont Heights in the winner's bracket semifinals. Seminole beat New Tampa, Land O'Lakes and East Point, but needed to defeat Belmont Heights twice to advance out of the North bracket to play North Brandon, which beat Southeast to win the South. North Seminole did just that.
The East Bay major softball team defeated host Bloomingdale for a President's Tournament title.
The New Tampa senior softball team had to beat the host team and move through the loser's bracket to win its title, but not even those odds could stop New Tampa. Host East Point sent New Tampa to the loser's bracket in its first game, but New Tampa rallied to beat Bloomingdale, Antioch and East Point twice.