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Local Sports

  • Young Lightning have proven they belong

    TAMPA — The NHL playoffs have been a roller coaster of excitement, punctuated by a pair of Game 7s over the weekend to decide the Stanley Cup finalists.

    It’ll be Tampa Bay vs. Chicago in the best-of-seven series that begins Wednesday night, with the tradition-rich Blackhawks aiming for a third title in six years.

  • FSU advances to Super Regional; faces Florida

    TALLAHASSEE — Quincy Nieporte homered and drove in four runs Monday to lead Florida State to an 8-1 victory over College of Charleston and into a berth in this weekend’s NCAA Super Regional at archrival Florida.

    Freshman Drew Carlton (5-5) fanned nine in 6 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed six hits to earn the win.

  • Schwarz lifts Florida past FAU 2-1 and into NCAA Super Regionals

    GAINESVILLE — JJ Schwarz hit an RBI single in the sixth inning to lift Florida over Florida Atlantic 2-1 on Sunday in the Gainesville Regional.

    The Gators (47-16) eliminated the Owls 

    (42-19) from the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Super Regionals for the fifth time in eight seasons under coach Kevin O’Sullivan, and first since 2012.

  • Veteran poise meets young stars

    Between the Chicago Blackhawks’ veteran poise and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s young stars, the Stanley Cup Final will have no shortage of dynamic offensive talent playing on hockey’s biggest stage.

    The Blackhawks begin the final series in their quest for a third NHL championship in six seasons when they visit Amalie Arena on Wednesday to face the Lightning, who are going for the second Stanley Cup title in franchise history after streaking through the Eastern Conference bracket with a series of gutsy victories.

  • Souza homers again, leads Rays over Orioles

    BALTIMORE — This was payback for all the times Jake Odorizzi pitched brilliantly without getting a win to show for it.

    Steve Souza Jr. homered for the third time in three games, and the Tampa Bay Rays provided Odorizzi a rare display of offensive support in a 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

    Souza hit a three-run drive off Chris Tillman (2-7) in the fifth inning for a 6-2 lead. His 10 home runs are tops among AL rookies and twice that of any teammate.

  • Gators fight off Auburn to reach softball finals

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kristi Merritt and Lauren Haeger made the throws that have Florida on the verge of a repeat.

    Merritt, a center fielder, threw out runners at the plate in the second and fourth innings, and Haeger pitched a complete game to give Florida a 3-2 victory over Auburn in nine innings Sunday, sending the defending national champion Gators back into the championship series.

  • Rays snap skid after shutting down Orioles

    BALTIMORE — Erasmo Ramirez threw three-hit ball over seven innings, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Wei-Yin Chen and the Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Saturday to end a six-game losing streak.

    Steve Souza Jr. and Joey Butler homered for the Rays, who staked Ramirez to an early lead in a matchup of AL East clubs with struggling offenses.

  • Williams edges Azarenka in French Open’s third round

    PARIS — At the outset, Serena Williams was grimacing and cursing and, worst of all, losing by a lot.

    Then, suddenly, the 19-time Grand Slam singles champion was putting shots right where she wanted, imposing her will as only she can. And the only anger Williams displayed was directed at her opponent, Victoria Azarenka, while they traded gestures and words over the chair umpire’s decision to replay a key point.

  • The stage is set

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jonathan Toews scored two goals in the opening minutes, Corey Crawford made 35 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks roared into the Stanley Cup Finals with a 5-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals Saturday night.

  • County Speedway action suspended

    The Citrus County Speedway cancelled its previously scheduled races today, as track promoter and lease owner Gary Laplant says he has temporarily suspended action at the Inverness track while his Tampa moving and storage company relocates. 

    Laplant says he will reopen the 60-year-old track at an undetermined date and doesn’t plan to sell the lease, which he owns the asset on through the Citrus County Fair Association until 2017.