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Countryside routs Northeast in five

By JOHN SCHWARB

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 21, 2001


CLEARWATER -- Just days after rising to No. 2 in a major national poll, Countryside showed yet again why there might not be a better team anywhere.

CLEARWATER -- Just days after rising to No. 2 in a major national poll, Countryside showed yet again why there might not be a better team anywhere.

The Cougars picked up their third consecutive Pinellas County Athletic Conference title Friday with a swift 10-0 five-inning pounding of Northeast, ending the regular season unbeaten. Countryside (29-0, No. 1 in Class 5A, No. 2 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll) executed its usual game plan, getting timely hits and a strikeout barrage from Crystal Crews.

Two days after a five-inning perfect game against a team from Ohio, Crews (19-0) allowed just one ball out of the infield, a double by Tiffany Nelson in the second. Twelve of her 15 outs were strikeouts.

The Cougars pounded out 13 hits off of Crystal Folwell, who came in with a perfect record and just four earned runs surrendered all year. All of the offense required for Countryside came in the second, when Nikki Delandy tripled to left, scoring Kerri Ryskamp.

Countryside broke the game open in the third with a two-out rally, scoring five runs. Two errors by Northeast (14-2) came back to roost, and Ryskamp provided the big blow with a three-run inside-the-park home run.

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