Softball: Tampa Bay area buzz — May 1

East Lake takes PCAC title

The Eagles, who already won a title at the Leopard Slam earlier this month, added another in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference championship game. 

Thanks to dominant pitching and key hitting, East Lake cruised to an 8-0 victory over St. Petersburg. 

Lucy Mondok, a freshman, played a big role. 

The Eagles ace threw a two-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts. She also set a school record, becoming the first freshman to record 150 strikeouts in a season. 

Mondok was just as strong at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs to give herself all the run support she needed. 

PHU’s Katchuk records 200 career victories

Last week, Palm Harbor University coach Kerry Katchuk hit a milestone with his 200th career victory at the school. 

Katchuk had the inevitable task of replacing Chuck Poetter, who guided the Hurricanes to three state titles, including an undefeated season and national title in 2005 before retiring from coaching high school softball at the end of the 2012 season. 

It turned out to be a seamless transition.  

Katchuk has continued to keep the program among the state’s best.

The proof is in the record.

In 10 seasons, Katchuk has averaged 20 wins per year. 

Senior superlatives

Three weeks after recording her 100th career hit, Mitchell’s Kinnah Kreidler had a memorable moment on senior night. 

The Mustangs’ veteran, who has signed with the University of Tampa, drove in eight runs, thanks in part to two homers, including a grand slam, in a win over Dunedin. 

The state’s super stealers

Five area players rank among the top 11 in the state in stolen bases. Here is the list below. Area players are in bold.

Stolen basesPlayer, team
48Kyleigh Myers, Plant City
45 Kayleigh Gibbs, Plant City
43 Preslynn Baker, Moore Haven
42 Ella Thomas, The Villages Charter
41 Mickey Coslor, Port Charlotte
40Keyanna Stanley, Poinciana
39 Kylie Shaw, Evangelical Christian
38 Tayten Moore, Canterbury
37Kate Miller, St. Petersburg Catholic
37Maryanne Gunter, Central
37Holly Robiitaille, Hernando Christian

Swiping a record

Riverview’s Aniyah Hicks is adept at stealing bases, so much that she already has shattered the single season school record. 

The junior has swiped 24 bases, breaking the previous record of 16. 

Power surge

Hernando’s Hannah Taylor, the reigning Class 3A state player of the year, leads the state in homers with 15. River Ridge’s Sophie Johnson also ranks near the top with 10 home runs. 

Several other area players are within striking distance of reaching double digits in homers heading into district play. 

Check out the list of local leaders below. 

Home runsPlayer, team
15Hannah Taylor, Hernando
10 Sophie Johnson, River Ridge
9Mimi Gooden, Gaither
8 Lily Holtje, Steinbrenner
8 Izzy LaRoche, Nature Coast
8Kinnah Kreidler, Mitchell
8Morgen Talley, Calvary Christian

Today’s area district quarterfinal games

What to watch

Sunlake (14-11) at Mitchell (13-12), 7

From 2017-21, these teams met in the district tournament or playoffs on a yearly basis. 

This time, they will renew their rivalry earlier than expected in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A, District 5 tournament.  

The host Mustangs, the No. 4 seed, won the first meeting this season 8-0. 

But the No. 5 seed Seahawks have turned things, winning six straight games to close out the regular season. 

Riverview (14-10) at Sumner (16-5), 7

This Class 7A, District 7 quarterfinal matchup marks the first time these teams have met this season.

The No. 5 seed Sharks are trying to turn things around after losing two of their last three regular season games. Offensive production is key for that to happen after getting shut out in the last two losses. 

The host Stingrays, the No. 4 seed, lost 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning to Berkeley Prep in the regular season finale. That snapped Sumner’s four game win streak. 

Today’s area district quarterfinal schedules

Class 7A-6
At various sites

No. 5 Ridge Community at No. 4 Durant, 7 

Class 7A-7
At various sites

No. 6 Alonso at No. 3 Palm Harbor University, 4

No. 5 Riverview at No. Sumner, 7

Class 6A-5
At various sites

No. 5 Sunlake at No. 4 Mitchell, 7

No. 6 Largo at No. 3 Land O’ Lakes, 7

Class 6A-6 
At various sites

No. 5 Hillsborough at No. 4 Tampa Bay Tech, 7

Class 6A-7
At various sites

No. 5 Armwood at No. 4 Lennard, 7

Class 6A-10 
At various sites

No. 6 Lakeland Kathleen at No. 3 Plant City, 7:30

Class 5A-5
At Belleview

No. 5 Leesburg vs. No. 4 Springstead, 7 

Class 5A-7
At Wesley Chapel

No. 5 Fivay vs. No. 4 Zephyrhills, 7

Class 5A-10
At various sites

No. 5 Bradenton Southeast at No. 4 Spoto, 7

Class 4A-9
At Robinson

No. 5 King vs. No. 4 Brandon, 5

No. 6 Blake vs. No. 3 Jefferson, 7

Class 4A-5
At various sites

No. 5 Weeki Wachee at No. 4 Central, 7

Class 2A-9
At Seffner Christian

No. 5 Foundation Christian vs. No. 4 Seffner Christian, 4

Class 2A-10
At Canterbury

No. 5 Cambridge Christian vs. No. 4 Northside Christian, 5