Commentary | Jada Massie's hot spring continues in summer

July 8, 2014 

Lakewood Ranch's Pablo Garabitos pitches while they play Lutz in a11-12 Little League Section IV Tournament at Lakewood Ranch Friday night. TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Herald

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Palmetto High's Jada Massie's terrific spring season has translated into some summer success.

After tearing it up during the high school season by winning district titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes en route to getting through regionals for a state meet appearance, Massie has compiled some hardware to her collection this summer with the Manatee Mustangs Track Club.

Recently, Massie took first place in the girls 100- and 200-meter dashes for the 17-18 year old division at the Sunshine State Games Track & Field Championships in Clearwater.

Massie ran the 100-meter dash in 12.74 seconds, and the 200-meter dash in 25.55 seconds.

Other Manatee Mustangs' runners to snag top-five finishes included: Breanna Walkes (girls 8-and-younger 55-meter dash, fourth place at 10.83 seconds); Saraiah Walkes (girls 11 years old 100-meter dash, first place at 13.48 seconds; 200-meter dash, first place at 27.20 seconds; 800-meter run, first place at 2:39.15), Alexis Graham (girls 11 years old 100-meter dash, second place at 14.04 seconds; long jump, tie for fifth place at 10-feet and 9.5 inches); Aalyiah Genat (girls 11 years old 400-meter dash, second

place at 1:11.13; 800-meter run, second place at 2:49.43) and Alfred Walkes (boys 9 years old 400-meter dash, fourth place at 1:18.73; shot put, third place with 13-feet and 3 inches).

State tourney approaching

The 10-11 year old Little League State Tournament is coming to Manatee County July 18-20.

Lakewood Ranch Little League are the hosts for the Friday-Sunday tournament, which features eight section winners divided into two pools.

Teams play one round robin game on Friday and two on Saturday. The two teams topping their pools meet Sunday, July 20, for the state championship.

There are no regional or World Series competitions available for this division. That starts at the Majors (11-12s) division.

Lakewood Ranch Little League, which won the District 26 tournament, is vying for one of the berths at its home park by competing in the Section IV tournament at South Brandon Little League this Friday and Saturday.

Ranch faces Land O'Lakes on Friday, before a doubleheader against South Brandon and Lake Wales on Saturday. The four-team sectional is a round-robin tournament, and the team with the best record after three games advances.

Manatee West's 9-10s are also in action this weekend for its Section IV tournament held at Progress Village Little League in Tampa.

West takes on Land O'Lakes on Friday, then squares off against South Brandon and Plant City on Saturday.

In softball, Palmetto's 10-11s play Plant City in a best-of-three series to determine the section championship at Pinecrest Little League in Lithia. There were no other District 26 softball entrants this year, so Palmetto was the default champion in all divisions it could field a team.

In the Majors softball division, Palmetto's 11-12s take on Land O'Lakes and Lake Wales on Saturday at Pinecrest with the section title at stake.

Twisting to state title

The Manatee Twisters 10-and-younger softball team won the USSSA South Florida "B" State Championship in Naples this past weekend.

The Twisters went 7-1 between pool and bracket play to win the championship.

They began their march in the bracket portion by defeating the Naples Gulf Coast Talons 12-2. From there, they ran past the competition without dropping any bracket play games and eventually handed the Venice Vipers their only two losses to claim the title.

All-Tournament selections

The Florida Burn Pennant snagged third place in the Perfect Game BCS 16-and-younger tournament in Fort Myers recently.

Two locals, Eric Kimsey (Braden River) and Parke Phillips (Out-of-Door Academy), were selected to the All-Tournament team.

Kimsey sported a 1.83 earned run average and a 2-0 record. He struck out nine batters against six walks and allowed five hits during his 7 2/3 innings of work in the tournament.

Phillips smacked two doubles and drove in seven runs to go with his scorching .529 batting average. He also had an on-base percentage of .556 and a slugging percentage of .647 for the tourney.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at jdill@bradenton.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill.

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