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+ Slow start for area teams
Many of the Plant City-area prep softball teams have had to deal with losing several key players to graduation, and it appears those losses are being felt early in the season.
From the Feb. 10 season openers until press time, area teams have a combined 1-8 record —with Plant City picking up the lone win, 4-3, over the Plant Lady Panthers. In the Feb. 13 game, the Lady Raiders used a late rally to snag a comeback win at home, thanks in part to sophomore Edmilly Molina’s three RBI and one home run.
Fortunately for area fans, none of these games were district contests. The long road to the district tournament began this week, and all of the teams will play a big block of 7A-7 games between now and spring break.
All teams will play Friday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. Plant City will travel to Tampa Bay Tech, Strawberry Crest will be at East Bay and Durant will host Brandon.
+ Clobberin’ time for Cougars, Chargers
As a whole, the area prep baseball scene has seen some more positive results on the diamond.
Much of this is due to a pair of blowout wins for Durant and Strawberry Crest last week. It could be seen as just a pair of tune-up games, but there are few better confidence-boosters out there than picking up a double-digit win.
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Strawberry Crest traveled to Chamberlain and picked up a 10-0 win over five innings. Senior ace Mark Moclair was nearly flawless through four innings, striking out eight in a no-hitter only brought down by two walks, and seniors Augustin Ontiveros and Tyler Chancey combined for four of the team’s nine hits, six RBI and three runs scored.
On Friday, Feb. 13, Durant picked up a 15-0 win at Middleton. The team combined for 14 hits, and Travis Riley, Zach Barfield, Cade Kelley and Cesar Caro combined for eight RBI and five runs scored. Six other players picked up RBI, as well, and Chelsea Baker got the win with three innings pitched, one hit allowed, three strikeouts and no walks.
Durant, Plant City and Strawberry Crest will all play tonight at the same time and location as their softball counterparts.
+ PCLL holding Big/Senior League sign-ups
Plant City Little League is bringing back Senior and Big League Baseball for boys age 15-18.
Anyone who wishes to play must be registered by Saturday, March 7. Contact Jeffrey Jacobsen for registration information at (813) 468-9362 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
+ Plant City YMCA to host “SPLASH! Week”
Parents who wish to teach their children how to swim and stay safe in the water will be in luck next month.
Tampa Bay-area YMCA facilities are hosting “SPLASH! Week” from March 9 to 12, and accepting pre-registrations now. The weeklong event will cover the areas of water familiarization, pool rules, water safety procedures and more for kids aged 3-12.
“SPLASH! Week is a community outreach program that focuses on teaching children how to be safe in and around the water, particularly for youth from underserved communities who might otherwise not have access to swim lessons,” Tampa Y Aquatics Executive Amanda Walker says. “The Tampa YMCA is committed to providing this free program annually in the spring to help keep kids safe at the beach, the pool, the lake and while boating. We want to raise awareness about the importance of swimming as not only a fun way to stay fit, but as a critical safety skill.”
To register, call the Plant City Family YMCA at (813) 757-6677.