By JOHN SCHWARB and PETE YOUNG
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001
SEMINOLE -- For a school looking for its first softball district title, St. Petersburg Catholic had its hopes in very good hands.
The sophomore dominated yet again Thursday, pitching a six-hit shutout in a 9-0 win over Osceola, securing the Class 3A, District 9 crown for the Barons.
St. Petersburg Catholic (18-5) will host Tampa Catholic on Tuesday in the regional quarterfinals. Osceola (6-12) will travel to Academy of Holy Names, which beat Tampa Catholic 4-1.
Vidal (11-1) gave the Warriors a whiff of hope early, then mostly whiffs the rest of the way. In the first inning, Osceola's first two batters reached, then Vidal struck out the side. After striking out the side again in the second, Osceola loaded the bases in the third with one out, only to strike out two more times to end the threat.
Vidal finished with 17 strikeouts, and also scored the Barons' first two runs. In the first, Amy Brasseur drove her in with a single up the middle, and in the third, Vidal scored on a Lauren Timberlake bunt that Osceola misplayed. The run kicked off a four-run frame, SPC's biggest of the game.
"We were just relaxed, and we played well," Vidal said. "To win districts is great -- you can think about doing it, but when you actually do it, it's a lot different.
Jenny Feola and Brittany Stahl each drove in two runs for SPC, which defeated Osceola 10-0 and 12-0 during the regular season. -- JOHN SCHWARB
ST PETERSBURG -- In just a matter of minutes, Northside Christian went from a comfortable lead and the brink of an upset to the agony of defeat.
Top-seed Bradenton St. Stephen's completed a season sweep of the No. 2 Mustangs and earned the district title with a come-from-behind 9-7 win at Shorecrest. St. Stephen's (12-6) will host Berkeley Prep on Tuesday in a region quarterfinal, while Northside Christian (9-9) will travel to Lakeland Christian.
The Mustangs raced to a 6-2 lead, scoring twice in the first inning on Mallory Fisher's two-run single, and then adding four in the second on doubles by Ashley Ogorek and Amy McGathey. The momentum turned dramatically toward St. Stephen's in the bottom of the fourth on an umpire's call. With two outs and runners on second and third, Emily Dutton singled to right to score Morgan Pope to make it 6-3, but Northside rightfielder Heather Chisholm's throw to catcher Melissa Grajales was in time to tag out the second runner, Kim Goss, and apparently end the inning.
However, the umpire said Ogorek, the third baseman, had interfered with Goss as she rounded third, and Goss was ruled safe at home. St. Stephen's scored two more runs in the inning to tie the score at 6.
Northside scored a run in the fifth to reclaim the lead, but St. Stephen's scored three in the sixth to prevail 9-7.
"Our girls have been hitting the ball the last two weeks just as good as any team we've played," said Northside coach Larry Webster, whose team had seven hits against St. Stephen's ace Jill Shondel (9-3), but made five errors and had several passed balls.
"If we would have had just a little bit better defensive effort, we would have won the game." -- PETE YOUNG