Pitching, defense lead way
By TERRY JONES, Times Correspondent
Published May 9, 2004
BRANDON - In Wednesday's playoff games, solid pitching carried five Hillsborough County teams forward to the region semifinals, scheduled for Tuesday. However, without strong defensive play, none of the teams would have survived the tough quarterfinals.
Bloomingdale will host Stuart Martin County in Class 6A, East Bay will travel to River Ridge and Plant will travel to Lakeland George Jenkins. In 5A, Academy of Holy Names will host LaBelle in 3A, and Cambridge will travel to Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic in A for Tuesday's games.
NO-HITTER: Jennifer Jacobs threw a no-hitter in Academy's five-inning 10-0 shutout of DeSoto County. The victory extended her the University of North Carolina-bound, 18-year-old left-hander's record to 14-2.
Adding to the offense, Brittany Villa and Emily Rivard were both 2-for-4. Sophomore Dana Esposito doubled in the third to drive seventh-grader Kayla Suskauer home.
UNDEFEATED: Allison Kime stumbled a little in the early innings but came back strong to remain undefeated at 20-0 in guiding Bloomingdale to a 4-1 win over Kissimmee Osceola.
The consistent ace struck out the final 11 Kowboys in order and 16 for the game.
After trailing 1-0, Kristin Maas started a two-run rally in the fourth inning, to put the Bulls out front to stay. She scored on a single by Kime, who also scored via an error by Osceola, giving Bloomingdale a 2-1 lead.
NOT MISSING A BEAT: Ashley Urbanik was ill, and three East Bay starters plus a reserve player were missing from the Indians lineup in the game with Gaither. However, with two outs in the first, Urbanik and Crystal Hill scored on a solid single by freshman Taylor Whidden.
The early 2-0 lead held up for the Indians and the balance of the game was an intense pitchers dual between Urbanik and Cowboys pitcher Ashley Rowe. Urbanik recorded nine strikeouts, and Rowe six in the game that was highlighted by both teams' defenses.
SHUTOUT: Megan Menard pitched a rare shutout for defending state champion Chamberlain in a hard-fought 1-0 victory. She scattered four hits and relied heavily on a young, but experienced Panthers defense.
Following an ACL operation late last year, Menard was not expected to contribute much if any at all this season. However, she worked hard in rehab and has posted an 11-3 record.
HER "A" GAME: Samantha Becker is not accustomed to being challenged by Class A teams, but Sarasota Out-Of-Doors gave her and Cambridge all they could successfully handle Thursday. Normally the potent bats and Becker's strong arm dominate Class A opponents.
She still struck out 12 batters, even with giving up four hits. However, the Lancers' two hits and tight defense were just enough for a 1-0 victory.
[Last modified May 9, 2004, 01:40:27]
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