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Vickery, Dawkins big part of softball success at PHCC


© St. Petersburg Times, published July 2, 2000

Two softball players from Clearwater High and East Lake High played prominent roles in Pasco-Hernando Community College's advancement to the state championship tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Both are moving on to four-year colleges.

Clearwater graduate Dana Vickery, who caught and played rightfield for the Quistas of New Port Richey, is moving on to Division I Charleston Southern in South Carolina.

Leftfielder Kelly Dawkins, out of East Lake, has enrolled at Central Florida.

Vickery, who also played volleyball at Clearwater High, started her college career at Florida State but transferred after her freshman year. She batted a team-leading .375 last season for the 40-23 Quistas with 60 hits (second-best on the team), 33 runs, 17 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts.

Her post-season accolades include being named to the Florida Community College Gulf District all-tournament first team, all-Suncoast Conference second team, all-state second team, and all-Region VIII second team.

"We had a great team this year," said Vickery, 20, who is looking forward to a summer away from softball, a game she started playing at age 6 and played in summer leagues since she was 11. "We probably could have gone further but we had a lot of freshmen on the team."

Vickery is a product of the youth leagues in Clearwater, having played summers for the Clearwater Bullets, coached by Jerry Lightner.

"He was a good coach, as were my coaches at junior college, Tom Ryan and Steve Miller," Vickery said.

"I'm looking forward to playing in South Carolina -- I love to travel and love different areas -- and returning to play my original position, second base. Also, I'll be back with my coach at Florida State, Chandelle Schulte, who's now the head coach at Charleston Southern."

Dawkins spent two years at Pasco-Hernando and was a key member of the state runner-up team in 1999. Last season she batted .265 with 47 hits, 21 runs and seven stolen bases, earning all-conference honors for her play and her academics.

"Kelly did a great job for us," coach Ryan said. "She'll be hard to replace; she's a special person."

Sara Ronnlof, a 1999 graduate of Largo High, took over the catching duties from Vickery at midseason when Vickery moved to the outfield. She batted .257 with 23 hits and nine RBI.

"Sara turned out to be our No. 1 catcher," Ryan said. "We play a lot of doubleheaders and she did an excellent job behind the plate. We're looking for a major contribution from her next year."

Freshman Ashleigh Hatcher (Tarpon Springs) had a 10-7 record at Pasco-Hernando with a 1.89 ERA. She'll return to the starting rotation next season.

VOLLEYBALL: Monique Marier (Clearwater High) is transferring from Lake City Community College to Florida State. She was the Times 1997 Pinellas co-player of the year with teammate Alex Sevillano when the Tornadoes went 32-0 and won the state Class 5A title. (Vickery was a member of that team and earned all-county third-team honors). Sevillano is a member of the Seminoles' volleyball team.

BASEBALL: Right-handed pitcher Jeff Harmeling (Northeast) is transferring from Hillsborough Community College to the University of Tampa, where he expects to be the closer.

Harmeling is a product of American Legion Post 14 in St. Petersburg. This summer he's playing for the St. Petersburg Black Sox and working out with retired Tampa Yankees pitching coach Mark Shiflett at the Tampa Baseball Academy.

Largo's Pete Maroudis (St. Petersburg Junior College), a pitcher at Saint Leo University, was named to the Sunshine State Conference first team and the all-South Region second team. He had a 7-3 record with a 3.90 ERA.

PRO SIGNING: Jeff Davis (Shorecrest Prep), who caught for Campbell University, has signed with the Johnstown (Pa.) Johnnies of the independent Frontier League.

Davis batted .319 this season with 29 RBI, 13 doubles, two triples and four homers. His 14-of-16 stolen bases among Division I catchers ranked seventh in the nation.

Davis earned national wire-service recognition in May when he went 7-for-7 in a romp over Viriginia Tech. His .412 batting average in the Trans America Athletic Conference championship tournament helped him earn first-team honors.

MINOR LEAGUES: Jason Haynie (Lakewood High/South Carolina) is pitching for the Lynchburg (Va.) Hillcats of the Class A Carolina League, a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate. He took the loss in Tuesday 7-1 game with the Winston-Salem Warthogs. In six innings, he gave up six hits and five earned runs while striking out seven and walking none. On the season, Haynie is 2-7 with a 6.46 ERA.

Sean McClellan (Seminole High/UF/Oklahoma State) was released by the Tennessee Smokies of the Double-A Southern League earlier in the season.

FOOTBALL: Browning Nagle (Pinellas Park High/Louisville), a quarterback for the New York Jets for four seasons, threw six touchdown passes for the Buffalo Destroyers last Sunday in a 79-54 Arena League win over the New Jersey Red Dogs. He completed 18 of 29 passes with no interceptions.

Leonard Conley (Tarpon/Miami) is playing linebacker and running back for the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena League.

- News for this column may be faxed to Dave Theall at fax 445-4119, e-mailed to, or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include your phone number.

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