Sharks ace delivers on mound, at plate

By DEREK LaRIVIERE, Times correspondent
Published February 16, 2008

BROOKSVILLE - Travis Murray showed why he is a double threat for Nature Coast in a 7-2 win over visiting Springstead on Friday night.

Murray, the starting pitcher for the Sharks (2-0), looked like he might be in for a shaky evening after surrendering two runs in the second inning and having trouble finding the strike zone.

But the Sharks ace settled down and retired 10 Eagles in a row on his way to a complete game. Murray gave up four hits, striking out nine and walking two.

"I always need a couple innings to warm up out there," Murray said. "I was leaving the ball up early, but once I settled down and kept the ball low, things got much easier."

And Murray went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two runs scored and a double. Rightfielder Chris Jones (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) and first baseman Mike Adams (1-for-3, 2 RBIs) contributed as well.

First-year coach Bob Shepard got his first taste of the county rivalry in the win. He acknowledged that the victory was that much sweeter because of the team in the other dugout.

"It's nice to get a district win this early in the season," Shepard said, "but even more than that, it's nice to get a win over Springstead early on, too."

Springstead (0-1) got a home run by third baseman Mike Jacobs in the two-run second inning, his first homer.


Pasco 11, Gulf 0


NEW PORT RICHEY - Colena Lazar is used to having dominating performances on the mound.

But the Pirates pitcher hit a home run and drove in three runs to help her cause as Pasco defeated Gulf in a Class 4A, District 8 matchup.

"We can't take anyone lightly," Pirates coach Shamalene Broner said. "Our team has to come out on top of their game every night because they know everyone is gunning for us."

The Pirates racked up 10 hits and two home runs in a six-inning game against the Buccaneers.

Lazar struck out seven and allowed no hits, and the only batters to reach base came on an error and hit batter in 87 pitches.

"I did pretty good," Lazar said. "It was a great feeling to pitch well and also hit a home run (Friday night)."

The Pirates (3-0) struck early on Bucs pitcher Amy Bushong. Lazar doubled in junior Lucy Schneider and Sherita Jenkins doubled in a run to give the Pirates an early 2-0 advantage.

The Bucs (3-3) stayed within striking distance until the top of the fifth inning when Schneider homered deep to left off Bushong to put the Pirates up 5-0 and out of reach for the Bucs.

"I give Pasco credit for a great game, but we just did not come out to play tonight," Bucs coach Rick Hohenthaner said. "We just have to come out Monday and regroup, rethink, and come back next week with better play."

Andy Villamarzo, Times correspondent