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Published April 16, 2006

COST: $5

WHEN: Monday-Thursday

SCHEDULE: Monday - No. 4 Citrus vs. No. 5 North Marion, 5 p.m.; No. 3 Dunnellon vs. No. 6 Lecanto, 7 p.m . Tuesday - No. 1 Belleview vs. Citrus-North Marion winner, 5 p.m.; No. 2 Crystal River vs. No. 7 West Port, 7 p.m.; Wednesday - Crystal River-West Port winner vs. Dunnellon-Lecanto winner, 5 p.m.; Thursday - Championship, 7 p.m.

COST: $5

SCOUTING THE PIRATES: The defending district champions are not as talented as last year when they had current South Florida first baseman Ashley Bullion, but coach Justin Wentworth said he still expects the squad to advance to region play. Crystal River can make it without knocking off No. 1 seed Belleview, but since the teams split their meetings, Wentworth knows the Diamondback Rattlers are beatable. And the Pirates (10-2 in district) will have a slight homefield advantage because their outfield fences are 225 feet from home, making their field one of the most spacious in the state.


First year coach Butch Miller has focused on aggressive baserunning and hitting this season, turning a struggling Citrus (6-6) program into a worthy opponent for 4-8 North Marion. Citrus loves to play small ball and Miller has helped the 'Canes become better hitters by teaching many of them how to slap at the ball. Rachael Atchison (.467), Krystal Boardman, (.375) and Brittany North (.375) lead the 'Canes lineup.


Lecanto (3-9) has hitting, led by Division II Queens University of Charlotte signee Sam King - who has a .500 batting avergage and .741 slugging percentage - plus Kayla Hall (batting .500) and Christina Hollback (.483). Hollback has helped Lecanto on the mound, posting a 1.91 ERA. What has hurt the Panthers all season is their defense. Errors have plagued Lecanto, which committed 11 of them against Crystal River this season. Lecanto will have a formidable district foe in Dunnellon (8-4), which is coached by former San Francisco 49er Kevin Fagan, who runs a disciplined program. Lecanto lost both meetings this season.


WHERE: Hernando Christian, 7200 Emerson Road, Brooksville.

WHEN: Tuesday and Thursday

DIRECTIONS: Travel south on County Road 491 (Lecanto Highway). Turn left onto U.S. 98 (Ponce De Leon Boulevard). After 8 miles, turn slight right on U.S. 41. Then turn left onto FL-50 E (Cortez Boulevard) and travel 1.7 miles. Turn right on Emerson.

SCHEDULE : Tuesday - No. 2 Ocala St. John Lutheran vs. No. 3 Seven Rivers Christian, 1 p.m.; No. 1 Hernando Christian vs. No. 4 Cedar Key, 4 p.m.; Wednesday - Championship, 4 p.m.

SCOUTING THE WARRIORS: At 7-6-1, Seven Rivers Christian has its best record since the school started softball in 2000. Not satisfied with their feat, the Warriors are seeking to advance to the championship game, but it won't be easy: Seven Rivers lost both meetings against St. John Lutheran this season. Coach Jackie Iwaniec said her team must be more agressive on defense and cut down on errors to pull off a first-round upset.

[Last modified April 16, 2006, 00:42:15]

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