: The game is being played today due to church service at Seffner Christian. The Crusaders lost to McKeel in the region quarterfinals last year, 11-1. SCA is led by eighth-grade pitcher Cheyenne Wright (8-3, 3.57 ERA), who is also batting .551 with 38 hits and 29 RBIs.
Plant City, which went undefeated in district play but was upset in the district championship by third-seed East Bay, lost to Bartow in the quarterfinals last season, 4-0. Bartow, last year’s 7A state runner-up, is ranked fourth in the 7A state poll state. Lake Region, the third-ranked team in 7A, defeated Bartow twice during the regular season. East Bay is finally playing at full strength after missing key outfielders during the regular season.
Class 7A-Region 3 MATCHUPS:
Freedom (18-3) at Countryside (24-3), 4 p.m.; St. Petersburg (13-6-1) at Chamberlain (20-7).
Freedom is making its first region appearance in program history, but will have to go through Countryside, the No.7 ranked team in 7A, to advance. Virginia-bound pitcher Rachel Dwyer leads Chamberlain, the defending 7A state champion and ninth-ranked team in 7A.
Class 5A-Region 3 MATCHUPS:
Blake (11-10) at Dunedin (16-8); Bradenton Bayshore (15-7) at Lennard (12-9).
Blake will make its first region appearance since in 2000 and second in program history in the fast pitch era. Dunedin reached the region final last season. Lennard, which lost to Dunedin in the quarterfinals last season, won its first district title last week. Blake and Lennard are seeking their first postseason victories.
Class 3A-Region 2 MATCHUPS:
Lakeland Christian (18-5) vs. Carrollwood Day (11-5) at Fest Field, Odessa, 4 p.m.
Carrollwood Day secured its first district title last week and is making its first region appearance. The Patriots are have been led by junior pitcher Amanda Rose, who had 10 strikeouts in the district title game against Seffner Christian.
After starting the season 8-0 to earn a national ranking, Wharton went on a losing skid to finish last in the district. The Wildcats have since rebounded and are making the program’s third trip to the postseason, but will face the third-ranked team in 8A. Durant, the defending 8A champions and sixth-ranked team in 8A, defeated East Lake in the quarterfinals, 9-7, last season.
Class 6A-Region 3 MATCHUPS:
Sickles (17-10) at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch (17-8-1); Palmetto (14-9) at Strawberry Crest (23-2)
Sickles is 4-3 on the road this season but will have to take on four-time defending district champion Lakewood Ranch. Strawberry Crest, the third-ranked team in 6A, last lost on March 30 to Bartow. The Chargers have allowed just 30 runs this season.
Class 4A-Region 3 MATCHUPS:
Tampa Catholic (15-11-1) at Mulberry (14-10-1); Arcadia DeSoto County at Academy of the Holy Names (20-3).
Tampa Catholic had its streak of three consecutive postseason trips snapped last season, but the Crusaders are back in the regionals led by senior infielder/catcher Erin Reynolds, who will play for the Coast Guard Academy in the fall. Holy Names, which reached the 4A region final in 2012, defeated DeSoto County in the region semis last season.
Class 2A-Region 3 MATCHUP:
Cambridge Christian (11-5) at Southwest Florida Christian (13-6), 4 p.m.
Cambridge Christian lost to SWFC in the quarterfinals last season, 8-0. Freshman Alea White leads the Lancers with 28 hits and 23 RBIs. SWFC is the No.5-ranked team in 2A.