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Chiefs oust defending champs

Chamberlain defeats Riverview for the third time this season. This one goes 10 innings.

By TERRY JONES, MIKE READLING, SCOTT PURKS, Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 2, 2001


RIVERVIEW -- It took 10 innings, but Chamberlain took defending state champion Riverview out of the regional playoffs Tuesday night 3-2, the same score recorded by the two teams in three previous meetings this season.

It was the third win by the Chiefs over the Sharks and the most important one. The victory earned the Chiefs a semifinal date with Countryside on Thursday at Bomber Stadium.

"It's like God said, "I'm going to make you work hard for this one,"' Chamberlain coach Bob Diez said. "Both teams played their hearts out in a see-saw game. I feel for Riverview, though. They are a class team."

The final run didn't exactly score in dramatic fashion. After walking and moving to second on a sacrifice, Krista Holle scored the winner in the top of the 10th on a throwing error.

Both teams put first-inning runs on the board. But with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Riverview's Kaysie Mains scored on a single by Robyn Westlake to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.

Chamberlain came back in the top of the fifth to tie it at 2 when Krista Jessup brought Natalie Ippolito home from third on a sacrifice fly. Riverview seemed poised to put the game away in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and one out but failed to score. -- TERRY JONES

6A-2: Sickles blasts Sarasota Riverview 10-0

TAMPA -- This isn't anything new to Sickles.

A region quarterfinal? That's the equivalent of a mid-January game against the worst team in the county. Show up, play good defense, go home and prepare for Thursday.

Tuesday's 10-0 win over Sarasota Riverview, in a game shortened to six innings by the 10-run rule, did nothing but back that point up.

The 4-year-old Gryphons have advanced to the fina four twice and the region semifinals once.

They know what it takes to win and they proved it Tuesday by jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, increased it by six runs in the second and then loaded the bases with one out in the sixth before Darlene Hollister ripped a triple and scored on an error by the centerfielder to end the game.

Laura Templeton led Sickles with a single, a double and four RBI while pitcher Julie Henneke (15-4) struck out nine and allowed two hits.

The Gryphons (20-4) will host Boone (23-6), a 9-0 winner over Melbourne, Thursday at 4 p.m.

"We just take it one day at a time," Sickles coach Tammy Overcash said.

"These girls know what to expect. It's a nice change having the experience on the team as far as being the coach. They know that every day could be their last." -- MIKE READLING

6A-2: Gaither nipped

At Venice, Gaither made the long trip to Venice and then stayed a while before being turned away from a possible region semifinal game, losing 2-1 in extra innings. The Cowboys took the Indians into the 10th inning, but Venice (19-9) rallied to earn the win. -- SCOTT PURKS

5A-3: Panthers fall short

TAMPA -- The lights went out at Plant's field, delaying the Panthers' game against Sarasota for 90 minutes.

After Tampa Electric drove out and fixed the electrical box, Sarasota promptly scored three runs in the third inning and held on for a 3-1 victory.

Plant threatened in the bottom of the third when its leading hitter, Jessie Braggins, came to the plate with two runners on. Braggins sent a shot to deep center that bounced off of the wall.

The Panthers (17-10) collected only two hits after that and got only one more runner past second base.

"I thought that ball Braggins hit was out of there," Plant coach Augie Quintero said. "But it came up just short, and that's all it takes at this point in the playoffs to win or lose. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way tonight."

Sarasota (24-6 and ranked No. 10) will play Palm Harbor U. in Thursday's regional semifinal. -- SCOTT PURKS

5A-2: Plant City moves on

Plant City defated Kissimmee St. Cloud 7-1 to advance. The Raiders (16-5) play Deltona on Thursday. -- TIMES STAFF

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