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Gulf Coast Eight Conference softball teams announced

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The Gulf Coast Eight Conference, which is made up of county public schools in Citrus and Hernando, announced their softball team. Seven players from Hernando County were first-team selections. Nature Coast, which was 9-0 before the season was cut short, was well-represented with three selections, as well as the player and coach of the year. 

Player of the year

P Alyssa Kelly, Sr.,Nature Coast

Though the season was reduced to nine games, Kelly put together a strong start that was tough to match. The Sharks’ ace was dominant, starting — and winning — every game. The Daytona State signee also had a 1.11 ERA and 63 strikeouts.  

Coach of the year

Jug Olmstead, Nature Coast

No team in the conference was off to better start than the Sharks. Not only was Nature Coast undefeated (9-0), but it outscored opponents by a combined 97-11. 

RELATED: Saluting Nature Coast’s softball seniors

First team

P Alyssa Kelly, Sr., Nature Coast

Stats: 9-0, 1.11 ERA, 63 Ks

P Kayla Bilby, Fr., Lecanto

C Raquel Camuglia, Jr., Springstead

Stats: .727 avg., 7 RBIs, 2 HRs

1B Lexi Lendo, Jr., Nature Coast

Stats: .500, 15 RBIs, 2 3Bs

2B Shyanne Waller, Jr., Citrus

Solaris Genberg

SS Solaris Genberg, So., Hernando

Stats: .469 avg., 8 RBIs, 3 2Bs

3B Alexis Frederick, Sr., Citrus

Sydney Cline

OF Syndey Cline, Fr., Hernando

Stats: .536 avg., 13 RBIs, 2 2Bs

OF Molly Bender, So., Citrus

Morgan Johnson

OF Morgan Johnson, Sr., Nature Coast

Stats: .471 avg., 12 RBIs, 2 3Bs (nine games)

UTIL Hannah Rizzuto, Sr., Springstead

Stats: .462 avg., 4 RBIs, 4 2Bs (seven games)

Honorable Mention

Central: Ariyanna Eliopoulos, Hannah Morris

Citrus: Miranda Wilson , Ashton Lewis

Crystal River: Emma Ward, Caliann Rogers

Lecanto: Elizabeth Bochert, Bekkah Adams

Hernando: Hannah Taylor, Taliyah Dowdell

Nature Coast: Jailene Gonzalez, Tori Ratigan

Springstead: Tiana Stefanic, 

Weeki Wachee: Madison Moran

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The Hillsborough County Football Player of the Week

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LB/S Cole Highsmith, Jr., Plant City

After becoming a starter as a sophomore last season, Cole Highsmith took on a more prominent role as one of the leaders of Plant City’s defense. 

He took on that task by making play after play. 

This season, Highsmith has recorded 73 tackles and six sacks. Those totals already surpassed what he ended up with last year. 

Against Bloomingdale two weeks ago, Highsmith had 13 tackles, two sacks and an interception to lead the Raiders to victory. 

Fans paid attention. Highsmith received 50 percent of the votes (746) in the Hillsborough County football player of the week poll to beat out Wharton’s Daveon Crouch, who had 25 percent (376 votes). 

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Thursday night football forecast

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Seffner Christian (2-3) at St. Petersburg Catholic (3-3), 7

After starting 2-0, the visiting Crusaders have lost three straight. The host Barons, meanwhile, have rebounded from a 1-2 start to win two of their last three games. 

Putnam’s prediction: St. Petersburg Catholic 30-28

Gibbs (3-3) at Tarpon Springs (3-3), 7

An important Class 5A, District 10 game for both teams not only to stay in the mix for a title but also to get above .500 for the season. 

Putnam’s prediction: Gibbs 34-21 

Clearwater (5-1) at Anclote (1-5), 7:30

The Tornadoes have won five straight and are the clear favorite to the Class 5A, District 10 title. The host Sharks are on a two-game losing streak. 

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 42-7

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Thursday sports schedule (Oct. 14)

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What to watch

Volleyball

Sunlake (12-5) at Wesley Chapel (13-4), 6

The Seahawks, who have won four straight, try to maintain their streak against the Wildcats in a rematch from last week that Sunlake took in five sets. 

Palm Harbor University (14-8) at Mitchell (18-0), 6:30

The Mustangs have a shot at going undefeated in the regular season. To do that, Mitchell has get the Hurricanes, who have turned things around. 

St. Petersburg (15-8) at East Lake (16-7), 7

The Pinellas County Athletic Conference final is between teams with impressive streaks. The Green Devils have won seven straight while the host Eagles have won five in a row. East Lake has owned the series this season, sweeping its rival in the previous three meetings. 

Newsome (16-7) at Bloomingdale (11-5), 7:30

Both teams have won three straight heading into their regular season finale. 

The schedules

Volleyball

Solid Rock Christian at Grace Christian, 4:30

Zephyrhills Christian at Hernando Christian, 5

Hillsborough Baptist at Foundation Christian, 5

Tampa Prep at Ocala Trinity Catholic, 5:30

Oldsmar Christian at Elfers Christian, 5:30

Brandon Academy at Universal Academy, 6

Sunlake at Wesley Chapel, 6

Tampa Bay HEAT at Shorecrest, 6

Weeki Wachee at Hernando, 6:30

Wiregrass Ranch at Anclote, 6:30

Carrollwood Day at Calvary Christian, 6:30

Citrus at Nature Coast, 6:30

Palm Harbor University at Mitchell, 6:30

St. Petersburg Catholic at Sarasota Christian, 7

Zephyrhills at Gulf, 7

Gulf Coast HEAT at Tampa SLAM, 7

Seven Rivers Christian at Cambridge Christian, 7

Alonso at Freedom, 7

Crystal River at Springstead, 7

St. Petersburg at East Lake, 7

Central at Lecanto, 7:30

Sumner at Brandon, 7:30

Cypress Creek at Pasco, 7:30

Tampa Bay Tech at Gaither, 7:30

River Ridge at Hudson, 7:30

Riverview at East Bay, 7:30

Newsome at Bloomingdale, 7:30

Spoto at Durant, 7:30

Middleton at Leto, 7:30

Plant at Robinson, 7:30

Jefferson at Armwood, 7:30

Indian Rocks Christian at Countryside, 7:30

Swimming

Plant at Berkeley Prep, 5

Tampa Prep at Berkeley Prep, 5:30

Lennard, Riverview at East Bay (Apollo Beach), 6

Blake, Leto at Hillsborough (Copeland), 6

Spoto, Tampa Bay Tech at Plant City (Plant CityYMCA), 6

Freedom at Academy of the Holy Names, 6:30

Steinbrenner, Wharton at Robinson (Bobby Hicks), 6:30

Gaither at Middleton (Cyrus Green), 6:30

Spoto, Sumner at Jefferson (Interbay), 6:30

Brandon, Tampa Bay HEAT at Bloomingdale (High five), 7

Golf 

East Bay at Riverview (boys), 2

Hillsborough at Leto (boys), 2:30

Freedom at Jesuit (boys), 2:30

Alonso at Chamberlain (boys), 3

Sickles at Jefferson (boys/girls), 3

Steinbrenner at Gaither (boys), 3

Newsome at Plant City (boys), 3

Sumner at King (boys/girls), 3:30

Plant at Robinson (boys), 3:30

Berkeley Prep at Tampa Prep, 4

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