Softball: Regional softball semifinals
GAMES AT 7 P.M. UNLESS NOTED Class 8A-Region 2 MATCHUP: Durant (20-8) at Palm Harbor (24-4), 4 p.m. OUTLOOK: Durant, the defending state champions and fifth-ranked team in 8A, advanced with a 11-0 shutout win against East Lake in the quarterfinals, sparked by a three-run homer by Kennedy Dean. Palm Harbor, the second-ranked team in 8A, defeated Wharton in the quarterfinals, 8-4. Durant defeated Palm Harbor in the region semifinals last season, 6-5.Class 7A-Region 2 MATCHUP: Plant City (16-8) at Eagle Lake Lake Region (20-8) OUTLOOK: After consecutive losses to Bartow in the region tournament, Plant City upset the 2012 7A state runner-ups, 5-2, in the quarterfinals to advance. Noelle Dietrich allowed four hits and had three RBIs in the win. Lake Region, which entered the regions ranked third in 7A, beat East Bay, 4-1, in the quarterfinals. Lake Region's Haley Wiseman had 13 strikeouts and allowed three hits in the win. Class 7A-Region 3 MATCHUP: Freedom (19-3) at Chamberlain (21-7). OUTLOOK: Freedom, in its first region appearance in program history, defeated Countryside, 2-0, in the region quarterfinals. Senior Katlin Hall has 28 hits and 22 RBIs and is 6-3 on the mound for the Patriots. University of Virginia-bound pitcher Rachel Dwyer pitched a three-hit shutout with five strikeouts in the Chiefs' 5-0 win against St. Petersburg in the quarterfinals. Chamberlain, the defending 7A state champion and sixth-ranked team in 7A, is 2-1 against Freedom this season. Class 6A-Region 3 MATCHUP: Strawberry Crest (24-2) at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch (18-8-1) OUTLOOK: Last week's 5-0 win against Palmetto in the region quarterfinals was the first postseason victory in program and school history for Strawberry Crest. Junior pitcher Sammy Tyler, despite an injured quad, finished with 12 strikeouts and no walks in the shutout win. Megan Reed added two hits, a run and an RBI for the Chargers, the third-ranked team in 6A. Lakewood Ranch, the 10th-ranked team in 6A, is coming off a 9-1 win against Sickles in the region quarterfinals. Class 5A-Region 3 MATCHUP: Bradenton Bayshore (16-7) at Blake (12-10) OUTLOOK: Blake defeated Dunedin, 6-0, in the region quarterfinals last week to earn the program's first postseason win in the fast-pitch era. Junior pitcher Amanda Weathers has led the Yellow Jackets on the mound with 113 strikeouts and a 2.31 ERA and a .412 batting average with 28 hits and 14 RBIs. Blake last advanced to the postseason in 2000. Bayshore defeated Lennard, 16-2, in five innings in the region quarterfinals to advance. Class 4A-Region 3 MATCHUP: Academy of the Holy Names (21-3) at Mulberry (15-10-1) OUTLOOK: Alexandra Gerecke pitched a complete game with two strikeouts and Anya Muyres went 3-for-3 with an RBI to lead Holy Names over Arcadia DeSoto, 5-3, in the region quarterfinals. The Jaguars, which reached the 4A region final in 2012, defeated Mulberry in the region quarterfinals last year, 4-0. Mulberry defeated Tampa Catholic, 5-4, in the region quarterfinals to advance. Holy Names is ranked the seventh-overall team in the latest 4A state poll.
Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s