Softball: Tampa Bay area buzz — April 24

Milestone moments

Three players – Sickles’ DaNia Brooks, Clearwater’s Abbee Klinefelter and Palm Harbor University’s Karhys Pierce all recorded their 100th career hit earlier this month. 

Pierce, a junior, accomplished that mark in three seasons. But the milestone was just as impressive for Brooks and Klinefeter considering that most of their freshmen seasons were wiped out because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Newsome’s Samantha Walz, a senior who already had her 100th hit and had set the school record for career stolen bases, added another record for most runs scored in school history.

Brooks, Pierce and Walz have all either signed or committed to USF. Klinefelter is a Tennessee Tech signee. 

Those marks were all set at the plate or on the basepaths. Last week, Plant’s Cassidy Masters, a junior, set one on the mound by recording her 100th strikeout this season.  

That winning feeling

It did not clinch a conference champion or district title. It did not even secure a winning season. 

But it was a victory. 

For Gibbs, that was something to celebrate. 

Earlier this month, the Gladiators beat Sarasota Booker to snap a 67-game losing streak that dated back to the 2018 season. 

And Gibbs nearly won again a week later, losing to Anclote 32-31 in eight innings. 

Athlete update

Aliyah Andrews, a former standout at East Lake who went on to win a Gold Glove at LSU, was recently named to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup, held July 11-15 in Fingal-Dublin, Ireland. 

Andrews, nicknamed “Air Aliyah” for her acrobatic catches that often appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, became an All-American with the Tigers. She currently plays in the Athletes Unlimited professional league.  

Today’s games

What to watch

Cypress Creek (9-9) at Fivay (9-8), 6:30

The host Falcons have already surpassed last year’s win total and are trying to secure the program’s third winning season since 2014. The Coyotes have been streaky. After enduring four straight losses earlier this month, Cypress Creek bounced back with three straight wins last week. 

Clearwater Central Catholic (11-6) at Northeast(10-8), 7

The Marauders have won four of their last five games, including victories over Indian Rocks Christian and Sarasota Cardinal Mooney in their only two games last week. The host Vikings, meanwhile, are trying to rebound after losing three of their last four games. 

Dunedin (9-12) at Mitchell (12-11), 7

After being shutout in three straight games, the Falcons’ offense turned things around with a 15-7 victory over Northeast last week. The host Mustangs are coming off a 2-1 week with impressive victories over Palm Harbor University and Sickles. 

County schedules

Hernando County

Wiregrass Ranch at Springstead, 6

Hillsborough County

Cambridge Christian at Foundation Christian, 4

Strawberry Crest at Tampa Catholic, 6

Plant City at Lakeland, 7

Freedom at King, 7

Pasco County

Wiregrass Ranch at Springstead, 6

Cypress Creek at Fivay, 6:30

Dunedin at Mitchell, 7

Pinellas County

Bradenton Christian at Admiral Farragut, 4:30

Dunedin at Mitchell, 7

Clearwater Central Catholic at Northeast, 7