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Softball capsules

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001


Citrus

COACH: Scott Waters, 3rd year.

KEY LOSSES: Colleen Leddy (C), Julie Hodson (CF).

TOP RETURNEES: Tabitha Schrufer, Sr. (P); Amy Bowen, Sr. (RF); Candice Pekins, Sr. (IF); Jessica Baum, Jr. (OF); Krissi Castiglione, Jr. (IF); Erica Maguire, Jr. (IF/OF); Alicia LePage (2B), Mettina Maggiore (SS); Megan Rall, So. (P), Whitney Gelin, So. (C), Rebecca Daigle, Jr. (OF).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Amber Presnick, So. (OF); Brittney Doyle, So. (IF); Jessica Macdonald, Jr. (OF).

OUTLOOK: One thing that may have been forgotten in the commotion surrounding last summer's Senior League World Series is that Citrus didn't make the playoffs for the first time in four years. But don't think the players have forgotten, especially pitcher and team leader Schrufer. QUOTABLE: "They were up against the wall a couple times and, from all the indications I got from the coaches involved, they performed when they had to." Waters, on the experience nine of his players gathered while competing in the Senior League World Series.

Crystal River

COACH: Laura Wingate, seventh year.

2000 RECORD: 11-11, lost to Hernando in first round of playoffs.

KEY LOSSES: Lauren Hemmerich, Jamie Colegrove.

TOP RETURNEES: Jessica Wilroy, Sr. (1B); Melissa Coburn, Jr. (IF/OF); Kristle Cummings, Jr. (P/3B/OF); Candice Miller, Jr. (2B/P); Courtenay Ryals, Sr. (OF); Rachel Miniard, Sr. (OF).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Cassie Pearson, Fr. (P/OF); Tiffany Goode, Fr. (IF/OF); Ashley Williams, So. (SS); Jennifer Arnold, So. (OF/C).

OUTLOOK: Crystal River returns six players after eliminating Citrus in the district semifinals. The Pirates again are in position to challenge for a playoff berth and have a nice mix of experience and young talent. Crystal River has an early advantage given that it has the fewest starters in other sports.

QUOTABLE: "I've talked to all the other coaches, and we do have the most out there. The quicker you can start playing together, the better off you're going to be." Wingate, on having most of her players available and not in other sports.

Lecanto

COACH: Amy Lilley, seventh year.

2000 RECORD: 6-16, lost 6-5 to Dunnellon in district tournament.

KEY LOSSES: Nicole Robinson (C).

TOP RETURNEES: Jill Bandhauer, Jr. (C, 3B last year), Erin Bailey, Sr. (P), Kristy Barkofski, Sr. (SS), Shannon McConnell, Jr. (CF), Michelle Sudlow, Sr. (1B), Mandy Wade, Jr. (OF).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Emily Bayer So. (P), starting next week. Telia Shelton, Jr. (3B).

OUTLOOK: For the first time in several years, Lecanto will not be playing in the same district as the other two Citrus schools. The Panthers have several players competing in other sports. But that doesn't seem to bother Lilley, who guided Lecanto to the 1996 state title. QUOTABLE: "Whenever the girls we have who play another sport go beyond district, it always helps. The year we won state, our volleyball team made it to the final four and our basketball team made it to the final eight." Lilley.

Seven Rivers Christian

COACH: Tom Evans, first year.

2000 RECORD: 1-9 (JV schedule).

KEY LOSSES: None.

TOP RETURNEES: Kristyn O'Neal, Sr. (P/IF); Kristen Cortese, Jr. (IF); Amy Cortese, Fr. (C); Brittaney Squire, Fr. (SS); Danielle Toms, eighth grade, (OF); Rachel Ebert, eighth grade (OF); Kasia Tubman, So. (IF).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Sherry Atwood, Sr. (OF); Julie Green, Sr. (IF); Mary Ann Emberley, Fr. (OF); Erin Russell, Sr. (OF).

OUTLOOK: The Warriors have several returning starters, many of whom aren't even in high school. QUOTABLE: "We'll start the better players, but every kid will play. We're going to try to make it fun and try to build something for the future." Evans.

For the fans

REGULAR SEASON: Games begin Monday and conclude April 24. Teams may compete in a maximum of 28 games.

CLASSIFICATIONS: Schools are divided by enrollment into six classes. The classifications range from the largest schools in 6A to the smallest in A. Lecanto is in 4A. Citrus and Crystal River are in 3A, and Seven Rivers Christian is in A.

POST-SEASON: District tournaments are scheduled for April 23-27. Regional quarterfinals are May 1, semifinals May 4 and finals May 8. The Florida Finals are May 14-19 at Legends Field in Tampa.

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