tampabay.com

Wolves nip Hawks for 4A-11 title

By JOEL POILEY
Published April 29, 2005


SEFFNER - Senior Kristen Garcia pitched a four-hitter and drove in two runs, leading Newsome to the Class 4A, District 11 title 4-2 over Armwood on Thursday.

Garcia defeated Armwood (14-11) for the fourth time this season in helping Newsome (16-9) avenge a loss in last year's district final.

She struck out nine and was dominant in all but the sixth inning, when Armwood scored two runs on three hits. She made judicious use of an offspeed curveball and drop pitch.

"It's hard when you face a team four times in a season, and we played them four times last year," Garcia said. "They know what you have, so you have to change your pattern a little."

Newsome sealed it with a three-run fifth. Jamie O'Hara made it 2-0 with an infield single, and Garcia delivered a two-run single that kicked up chalk along the rightfield line.

3A-9: History for Knights

TAMPA - Robinson, behind another strong pitching performance from Audrey Larcom and Sarah Nakhler, captured its first district title by downing Sarasota Cardinal Mooney 2-1.

"It is both amazing and wonderful," the Knights' Beth Woodford said.

Larcom allowed just one hit, a leadoff single in the first, before running into trouble in the sixth. A hit batter and a single cut the lead to 2-1.

When Larcom went to 2-and-1 on rightfielder Christie Jenkins, coach Ed Gallio called in Nakhler from leftfield to pitch.

Nakhler promptly struck out Jenkins on the next two pitches then pitched a perfect seventh.

"I have great confidence in both Audrey and myself," Nakhler said. "Many times this year, she relieved me and did the same thing I did (Thursday). We work very well together."

Wednesday, Robinson defeated top-seeded Academy of the Holy Names with the same pitching combination.

"When Coach took me out in the sixth, I knew it was the right move," Larcom said. "I knew Sarah would finish them off just like she did against Academy of the Holy Names."

Robinson scored runs in the fourth and fifth. In the fourth, Ally Wicker led off with a single, stole second and scored on Larcom's single.

Woodford (3-for-4) led off the fifth with a single and went to second on a passed ball. Catcher Liz Chesser promptly drove her in with a line single to right.

- JIM REESE, Times correspondent

2A-11: Terps tripped up

LARGO - The little things that helped Tampa Prep reach the final disappeared during an 11-1 loss to Bradenton St. Stephen's at Indian Rocks Christian.

Tampa Prep's troubles began in the first when Kelsey Falcone and Ashton Widden hit consecutive doubles to start a three-run rally. Widden went to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch.

A double play helped Tampa Prep escape further damage. But St. Stephen's scored another run in the second, when Jessica Ashley drove home Jenny Waters with a single, then scored five with two outs in the third.

"It was just our defense. We couldn't make the little plays," Tampa Prep coach Dean Walters said.

"St. Stephen's is good. They put the ball in play, and when a team does that, you've got to make the plays on defense or else they'll come back to get you."

Widden, who went 2-for-3 with four RBIs, hit a two-run double in the fifth to end the game.

Marisa Kritikson drove in Alexis Rash with a single in the third for Tampa Prep's lone run.

- ROVAN YAU, Times staff writer