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Softball: Thursday’s Class 4A state semifinal preview

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Softball state semifinals

All games at Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont. Admission is $9 in advance, $12 on the day of the event. Parking is $10 for cars, $25 for buses. 

Hernando (25-4) vs. Plantation American Heritage (15-8), 12

How they got here: Hernando d. Tarpon Springs 17-1, d. Wesley Chapel 14-2, d. Lake Region 4-3. Plantation American Heritage d. Miami St. Brendan 10-0, d. Key West 5-0, d. Pompano Beach 2-1. 

Outlook: The Leopards, ranked No. 3  in the 4A by MaxPreps, are making their second straight state semifinal appearance. Only three players from this year’s team — Solaris Genberg, Hannah Lynch and Olivia Townsend — were in the lineup during Hernando’s last trip to the semifinals in 2019 (the 2020 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic). This year’s Hernando team has won seven straight, outscoring foes by a combined 69-8 during that stretch. But the Leopards can win the close ones, too, as evidenced by its 4-3 victory over Lake Region in the region final. The Patriots, ranked No. 4 in 4A, are making their first state semifinal appearance since 2018 when they went on to beat Land O’ Lakes for their third title in a four-year span. After a 1-7 start this season, American Heritage has gone on to win 14 of its last 15 games, including six straight. 

Team leaders

CategoryHernandoAmerican Heritage
Batting averageSolaris Genberg .500Emily Legette .576
RBIsOlivia Townsend 39Halle Roach 27
Home runsOlivia Townsend 6Emily Legette 11
ERAAva Braswell 1.69Marissa Thompson 2.21
StrikeoutsAva Braswell 70Marissa Thompson 80

Football

Football: Friday night scoreboard

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Final Tampa Bay Tech 21, Wharton 12

Final St. Petersburg Catholic 47, Bishop McLaughlin 15

Final Gibbs 50, Gulf 21

Final Countryside 28, Sunlake 7\

Final Berkeley Prep 49, New Orleans Newman 24

Final Zephyrhills Christian 30, Bradenton Christian 7

Final Boca Ciega 28, Seminole 21

Final Lakeland Christian 38, Calvary Christian 13

Final Clearwater 48, Tarpon Springs 7

Final Clearwater Central Catholic 56, Kissimmee Gateway 0

Final Northeast 21, Hollins 20

Final Sumner 14, Braden River 10

Final Legacy Charter 21, Indian Rocks Christian 14

Final Mount Dora Christian 48, Keswick Christian 0

Final Seffner Christian 62, St. Joseph Academy 16

Final Zephyrhills 35, Nature Coast 0

Final Largo 25, Sickles 7

Final Osceola 48, St. Petersburg 9

Final Steinbrenner 35, Chamberlain 21

Final Carrollwood Day 42, Cambridge Christian 7

Final Tampa Catholic 38, Winter Haven 0

Final Land O’ Lakes 36, Pasco 0

Final Jesuit 44, Blake 0

Final Armwood 41, Wiregrass Ranch 11

Final Palmetto 23, Bloomingdale 3

4th Q Alonso 52, Robinson 17

Final Plant City 31, Plant 24

Final Wesley Chapel 44, Hudson 6

Final Newsome 55, Riverview 7

Final Pinellas Park 46, Palm Harbor University 0

Final Fivay 27, Freedom 25

Final Bradenton Manatee 29, East Bay 13

Final Dunedin 48, Anclote 22

Final Spoto 46, Brandon 0

Final Durant 49, Middleton 6

Final Cypress Creek 43, Weeki Wachee 0

Final Lennard 33, Jefferson 31

Final Gaither 48, Leto 7

Final McCallie (Tenn.) 47, Clearwater Academy 14

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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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