Local Sports

  • Smallest margins put Blackhawks on brink

    TAMPA — Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop and his Chicago counterpart, Corey Crawford, both made atrocious mistakes less than a minute apart in Game 5 of this impossibly close Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night.

    Bishop’s blunder ended up in his net when he collided with defenseman Victor Hedman and sent the puck to Patrick Sharp, who scored the Blackhawks’ first goal in a 2-1 victory.

  • Edwards returns to Michigan

    BROOKLYN, Mich. — Carl Edwards acknowledges this trip to Michigan feels a bit different to him.

  • Souza helps Rays beat White Sox

    ST. PETERSBURG — Steve Souza Jr. hit a tying RBI single, stole second with the help of a replay challenge and scored the winning run on an error, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

    Souza’s two-out single off Zach Putnam (1-2) drove in David DeJesus in the eighth. Souza then swiped second and Asdrubal Cabrera was walked intentionally before Jake Elmore hit a bouncer up the middle.

  • Bolts take hit at home

    TAMPA — With another tenacious road victory in this agonizingly close Stanley Cup Final, the Chicago Blackhawks earned an opportunity to raise that silver trophy on their home ice.

    Antoine Vermette scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Blackhawks moved to the brink of their third NHL championship in six years with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 on Saturday night.

  • Defensemen starring in a tense Final

    BRANDON — After Steven Stamkos stepped off the Lightning’s practice rink on a 90-

    degree June day, the Tampa Bay captain calmly made it clear he is well aware that he hasn’t scored a goal yet in his first Stanley Cup Final.

    “Keep playing the game the right way, and eventually you’re going to get rewarded,” Stamkos said Friday.

  • ‘According to plan’

    Nearing high school graduation back in 2013, former Lecanto standout Amber Atkinson had a plan — something that many her age, or any age for that matter, have. 

    The former Citrus County Female Athlete of the Year wanted to be a “big athlete” and get into a “big school” for her talents on the softball field. 

  • Rookie-led Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG — Joey Butler had three of Tampa Bay’s 14 hits and Matt Andriese earned his first major league win Friday night in the Rays’ 7-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

    Andriese (1-1) gave up two runs — both unearned — in a career-high 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five in the 26th game started by a Rays rookie this season.

  • Daugherty big winner at Cobia tourney

    Chris Daugherty landed a 50.55-pound cobia at the 31st Annual Cobia Big Fish Tournament held June 6-7 in Homosassa Springs to walk away with the grand prize of $7,300.

    Jason Tsacrios finished second at 47.36 pounds ($1,800), followed by David Ault (46.94 pounds, $1,200) and Todd Corneillie (38.62 pounds, $600).

  • Angels take series from Rays

    ST. PETERSBURG — Albert Pujols hit his 537th home run Thursday night to move ahead of Mickey Mantle into 16th place on the all-time list and complete the scoring for the Los Angeles Angels in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Pujols’ 17th home run of the season, which came in the ninth inning off Preston Guilmet, was his 1,122nd extra-base hit, tying Manny Ramirez for 14th place in that category. The 35-year-old first baseman has 1,685 RBIs, one short of Ernie Banks who is 29th on the all-time list.

  • Gators desire top prize

    GAINESVILLE — Florida’s path to the College World Series was filled with familiar foes.

    The young and streaking Gators (49-15) beat four teams from the Sunshine State — Florida A&M, South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Florida State twice — to advance to Omaha, Nebraska.

    So it’s somewhat fitting that they open play in the CWS against one more, Miami on Saturday night. It might as well be dubbed the unofficial state title game.