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Preview Capsules

By DEREK LaRIVIERE
Published February 16, 2007


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Hernando Christian

Coach: Susan Siedelmann (sixth season)

2006 record: 18-5

Key losses: Casey Moneyhan

Key returners: Lexy Boever, Sr.; Meredith Hanshaw, Jr.; Mary Ellen Langley, Jr.; Jackie Butler, So.; Heidi Riley, So.

Outlook: After winning the district crown last season, the Lions were dispatched easily in the first round of the state playoffs by Ocoee Central Florida Christian 16-4. However, like last season, HCA returns most of its key players and should be stronger than ever.

 

 

Central

Coach: Lindsay Grey (first season)

2006 record: 8-17

Key losses: None.

Key returners: Jordan Kraemer, Sr.; Gabby Roberts, Jr.; Courtney Gray, Jr.; Brittany Rudy, Jr.; Callie Puleo, Sr.

Key newcomers: Kiera MacKenzie, Fr.; Jackie Manfredo, Sr.; Marisa Spagna, Sr.

Outlook: The program seems to have new-found vigor under Grey. The coach is a new staff member at Central, but before attending and graduating from USF last season, she was a key member of the softball team at Central when she played from 1999-2002. This season, the leader on the field should be Kramer. On the mound, she will be the team's ace, but she's not shabby at the plate either.

Hernando

Coach: Kevin Bittinger (second season)

2006 record: 17-9

Key losses: Brittany Bishop

Key returners: Ari Lowman, Jr.; Katie Geiger, Jr.; Katelyn Vanderham, Sr.; Cheyenne Sellers, Sr.; Chelsea Chippoletti, Sr.; Ashley Lewie, Sr.; Erica Maldonado, So.; Demi Maldonado, So.

Key newcomers: Alexandra Gaffney, Sr. (transfer from Central)

Outlook: Hernando looks the strongest it has in years after defeating one of the top programs in the state with its victory over Bartow last week. Bittinger expects the district to be one of the toughest around, so nothing can be taken for granted. Between Lowman's pitching and one of the deepest lineups in the area, Hernando is counted on to be a force from beginning to end.

Nature Coast

Coach: Kristin Peeples (third season)

2006 record: 0-24

Key losses: Devyn McLaughlin, Cayse Houston

Key returners: Kaitlyn Wadsworth, Jr.; Katelyn Shepard, Jr.; Jakara Willis, Jr.; Toni Palermo, So.; Karen Priest, Jr.

Key newcomers: Jen Marshall, Fr.; Lizzy Olmstead, Fr.; Ashley Antzack, Fr.; Mikala Miller, Fr.

Outlook: After going winless last season and 2-42 over the past two, the Sharks broke that slump with an 8-5 win over Hudson last week. But the success did not last long as injuries broke in bunches. Marshall, Priest and Miller have all been benched with ailments. Marshall is expected to be back before the season ends, but Priest and Miller's outlooks are not as bright. Peeples will field a young team that includes no freshman.

Springstead

Coach: Craig Swartout (fifth season)

2006 record: 12-15

Key losses: Stephanie Cox, Tasha Cox, Amber Collard

Key returners: Hillary Fiocca, Sr.; Becky Powell, Jr.; Destiny Mormando, Sr.; Samantha Boggs, Jr.; Jamie Vitale, Jr.; Shelby Baccaro, So.; Samantha Bennett, Jr.

Key newcomers: Amanda Drawe, Fr.; Jamie Lee Basinger, Fr.

Outlook: The Eagles look to be a much-improved team from last season with their defense leading the way. Up the middle, from catcher to centerfield, Springstead has the foundation to keep up with some of the top teams in the district. Swartout stated his expectations for the team to stay competitive as long as Fiocca and Mormando can lead the team on the field with their bats and off with their vocal leadership.

Derek Lariviere, Times correspondent

Fast Facts:

 

District Play

A-8: Hernando Christian, Bishop McLaughlin, Seven Rivers Christian, St. Johns Lutheran, Cedar Key

4A-8: Springstead, Nature Coast, Hernando, Hudson, Pasco, South Sumter, Zephyrhills, Gulf

5A-7: Central, Land O'Lakes, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Wesley Chapel

[Last modified February 15, 2007, 23:19:43]


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