By RODNEY PAGE
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 2001
St. Petersburg Junior College hopes the fifth time is the charm. The Trojans advanced to the Florida Community College state tournament for the fifth consecutive season, but they have never won the title.
SPJC begins play in the Gulf District at 7 p.m. today at Kissimmee's Osceola County Softball Complex against the winner of Wednesday's late game between Tallahassee CC and Okaloosa- Walton CC. As conference champions, SPJC earned a first-round bye.
"It's never easy with the quality teams in the tournament," SPJC coach Lance Lamport said. "Our goal every year is to get there and win, but it's not always that easy."
SPJC was 46-17 this season, 13-1 in the conference. Freshman outfielder Emily Leggett was the conference's co-player of the year. Sophomore Amy Marlowe was the conference's pitcher of the year.
Infielders Kristin Amrose and Jackie Rothey, pitcher Jennifer Joiner and outfielder Jennifer Tustison also were first-team all-conference selections.
The winner of the Gulf District plays the winner of the Atlantic District on Saturday afternoon. That winner plays in the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
TODAY: SPJC vs. Tallahassee CC-Okaloosa-Walton CC winner, 7.
FRIDAY: If SPJC loses -- Loser's bracket game, 10 a.m. If SPJC wins -- Gulf Coast CC-Manatee winner, 5.
SATURDAY: Semifinals and finals.