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Mustangs make their mark in a new district

Published April 7, 2006

TRINITY - Mitchell is on a five-game win streak, which pales in comparison to Pasco's 12-0 run.

Of greater concern to Mitchell coach Scott Bisbe is his team's impressive showing since moving up a district. In the first season in Class 6A, District 7 - the only county team playing at that level - the Mustangs have a 5-3 district mark.

"I didn't know how good any of them were," Bisbe said of district rivals Alonso, Countryside, Gaither, St. Petersburg and Sickles. "We can play with any of them."

Mitchell, 16-5 overall, went 4-1 in the season's first round of games against district foes. A 6-2 loss to Sickles kept the Mustangs from a perfect swing. Mitchell defeated Alonso 10-9, Gaither 11-5, St. Petersburg 13-0 and Countryside 5-2.

Two district opponents got even with Mitchell, losing 10-4 to Gaither and 8-5 to Sickles (after a 19-5 win over Alonso) in the second round of games.

"I thought we would have probably split with Sickles and Countryside (the latter of which visited Mitchell on Thursday night)," Bisbe said. "It's a tough district."

Regardless of their opponents, the Mustangs have been tough as well. Especially at the plate with a lineup that includes six batters hitting at least .333.

Sisters Courtney (.552, 40 runs) and Ashley Stager (.446, 32 runs), along with Layne Spencer (.514, 38 runs) and Olivia Kline (.456, 39 RBIs), are on base more often than not. And Kline, a freshman, has a county-leading seven home runs.

Those numbers, which also have come against Pasco County teams, indicate to Bisbe his players have welcomed the challenge of moving up a district.

"They know it's tough," Bisbe said. "I like it because we're playing teams we haven't played in the past. It's really a breath of fresh air."

BUCS TOP 2005 MARK: Gulf's turnaround continues with the team winning its 13th game this week. That's one more than last season, when the Bucs went 12-14 and won its first playoff game in school history.

Tuesday's 11-2 win over South Sumter lifted Gulf to 13-10. The Bucs need four wins to match the single-season best of 17-5 in 1992.

[Last modified April 7, 2006, 01:32:03]

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