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County softball team eyes state title
By THOMAS SIMONETTI
Published July 20, 2005
TAMPA - Palma Ceia/Interbay's 9- and 10-year-old softball all-star team is at it again this season.
With four returning players from last year's team that finished second in the state, Palma Ceia/Interbay has used stellar pitching to position itself for another potential title run.
Over the weekend, Palma Ceia/Interbay took the sectional tournament at Crystal River with a 12-2 win over Seminole. Starter Blair Martin pitched three innings and Christina Gerecke pitched one in the mercy rule-shortened no-hitter.
Taylor Newman pitched a complete-game, three-hit shutout in the first game, a 7-0 win over Crystal River.
"We definitely have solid 1-2-3 pitchers," coach Chris Gronke said. "And our defense is behind supporting them. All three (pitchers) have good speed. Some of these teams aren't ready for it."
Palma Ceia/Interbay has allowed just five runs in six games this postseason.
The team hasn't been shy about swinging the bats either. Led by Martin and Gerecke, the lineup outscored opponents 33-2 in the sectional tournament.
Next stop is the state softball tournament at East Orange Little League in Orlando. Palma Ceia/Interbay's first game is at 2 p.m. Friday.
WELLSWOOD'S RUN ENDS: Ending an amazing run that included a bronco division PONY World Series Championship last season, Wellswood fell 2-1 to Tamiami in the finals of the southeast regional.
Led by slugger James Ramsey, Wellswood began the tournament 2-0, beating Georgia in the opening game and Tamiami in Game 2. Ramsey pitched a complete game in Wellswood's first meeting with Tamiami, striking out 13 and walking one.
Wellswood coach Mike Johnson said Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, whose son plays for Tamiami, approached him about Ramsey's play after the game.
"He basically said (to Ramsey), "Keep doing what you're doing. You are the best 13-year-old I have ever seen,' "' Johnson said.
Tamiami had to beat Wellswood twice to advance and took the first game 12-9. In Game 2, Wellswood fell despite seven strong innings from starter G.C. Tronosco.
Johnson said he is proud of his team for defying the odds and making it as far as it has the past two seasons. Look for his team again next season because Johnson said he will have many of his players back.
"We're going to be really loaded again next year," he said.