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Early-season lineup shuffle hasn't deterred Berkeley

Several Bucs have had to fill in at new positions after starting pitcher Amanda Roehn was lost for the season.

By TERRY JONES

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 1, 2001


TAMPA -- With only 10 players, Berkeley Prep can't afford injuries. A loss of two players and ... well, Bucs coach Sallie Scudder doesn't like to think about it. The roster trouble began when starting pitcher Amanda Roehn suffered a knee injury playing soccer and was lost for the softball season.

Scudder was forced to do some creative shuffling.

Shortstop Hilary Parsons went to the mound and second baseman Alexis Prida became the starting shortstop and backup pitcher -- even though she had never thrown a high school game.

Parsons and Prida have alternated pitching and playing shortstop ever since, while Scudder pulled one of her two catchers to cover second base.

"Because the school is so small, Berkeley Prep has developed a history of sacrificial versatility," Scudder said. "In four seasons from 1992 to 1996, Julie James was selected as an all-state player each year at four different positions.

"Both Hilary (Parsons) and Alexis (Prida) are juniors with skills and experience good enough to get scholarships (to play a couple of positions)."

It took a little while to adjust this season, but Berkeley seems to have worked things out. The Bucs, who placed second in the Class 2A, District 9 tournament, are 21-10 and poised for a run at a spot in the final four.

The next challenge is today's Class 2A regional quarterfinal at Bradenton St. Stephen's, which defeated Northside Christian 9-7 in its district final. Berkeley appears to be the favorite, considering it defeated Northside 14-0 earlier this season.

Lineup shuffle? No worries.

Parsons, for instance, comes in with a 1.04 ERA in 121 innings with 85 strikeouts. She's also hitting .464 with 33 runs scored, 26 RBI and a .574 on-base percentage. Prida has a 2.98 ERA, 49 strikeouts, is hitting .400 and has a .577 on-base percentage.

"Taking on the additional pitching responsibilities and giving up position development has been hard for me, but I will do anything for the team," Parsons said. "The whole team has had to make sacrifices with Amanda out, but I think it has made us a better team. We are working harder for each other and continue to improve."

First-year players Rachel Almengual and Jamie Stephens are switching between catcher and second base. Both have exceptional skills behind the plate and are hitting around .350.

"This team has really been pulling together and helping each other," Prida said. "Not only the two catchers, but everyone.

"Even while recuperating from a bad knee injury, Amanda (Roehn) is at every practice and game. She has taught me the basics from holding the ball to pitching. We are doing well and all but one comes back next year."

Today's playoff games

BASEBALL: All games at 7:30 unless noted.

CLASS 6A: Sara. Riverview at Durant, 7

Gaither at Venice

CLASS 5A: Countryside at Ridgewood

Sarasota at King

Gulf at Seminole

Wharton at Charlotte, 7

Plant City at Kiss. Osceola

CLASS 4A: Jefferson vs. Dunedin (at Dunedin Stad.)

East Bay at Northeast, 4

Clearwater at Leto

Dixie Hollins at Sebring

Central at Gaines. Eastside, 4

Palatka at Pasco

CLASS 3A: Frostproof at Tampa Cath., 4

Jesuit at Avon Park

Crystal River at Lakeland Santa Fe

CLASS 2A: Shorecrest at Berkeley Prep, 7

Fort Meade at Northside Chr., TBA

CLASS A: Seven River Chr. at Jack. Country Day, 4

Canterbury vs. Seminole Pres., 7 (at Doc Nance Field)

Temple Heights at Indian Rocks Chr., TBA

* * *

SOFTBALL: All games at 7:30 unless noted.

CLASS 6A: Sara. Riverview at Sickles, 4

Gaither at Venice

CLASS 5A: Seminole at Palm Harbor U., 4

Sarasota at Plant

River Ridge vs. Countryside, 4 (Bomber Stad.)

Chamberlain at Riverview

Kiss. St. Cloud at Plant City

CLASS 4A: Leto at Land O'Lakes

Brad. Southeast at Northeast, 4

Clearwater at Tampa Bay Tech, 4

Gibbs at East Bay

Pasco at Flagler Palm Coast, 4

Palatka at Central

CLASS 3A: Tampa Cath. at St. Petersburg Cath., 5

Osceola at Acad. of the Holy Names, 4

Crystal River at Lakeland Santa Fe, 7

Keystone Heights vs. Hernando (at Tom Varn Park)

CLASS 2A: Northside Chr. vs. Lakeland Chr., 7 (at Westside Complex)

Berkeley Prep at Brad. St. Stephens, 4

CLASS A: Seven Rivers Chr. at Jack. Country Day, 4

Lakeside Chr. vs. Seminole Pres., 4 (at Rome & Sligh Field)

Bayshore Chr. at Keswick Chr., 4

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