By SCOTT PURKS
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 6, 2001
TAMPA -- Chamberlain proved once again Saturday why it might be the best team in the state, if not the country.
The Chiefs -- who defeated the nation's No. 1-ranked team (Countryside) 5-0 on Thursday -- simply don't have a weakness.
Pitching. Hitting. Defense. Power. Speed. It's all there and then some.
Just ask Sarasota coach Jack Hartman, who watched his team lose to the Chiefs 4-1 in the Class 5A, Region 3 final.
"We have absolutely no excuses because we just lost to a better team," Hartman said.
"It's certainly the best team I've seen."
Chamberlain (30-2-1) will play Gonzalez Tate in Wednesday's state semifinal in Auburndale. Chamberlain coach Bob Diez said he isn't worried.
"We'll be ready ... because these kids are ready to go every time they take the field," he said. "They don't live in the past, and they don't worry about who the opponent is. They just come to play."
Saturday, the Chiefs quickly made their point, scoring a run in the first and second innings. They also threatened in the third and fourth with towering shots that bounced off of the fence.
Sarasota (25-7) escaped without serious damage and trailed only 2-1 after five innings. The Sailors' hopes, however, slipped away when Chamberlain scored two in the sixth on a hit batsman, a double and a single.
Amanda Cody led the charge, going 2-for-3 with two deep doubles and third that was caught on the leftfield warning track. Cody also pitched the sixth and seventh innings, relieving winning pitcher Niki Trowell (13-1). Chiefs centerfielder Myesha Williams went 1-for-2 with a double, two stolen bases and two runs scored.