PLANT CITY — The bases were loaded with two outs in the fifth inning of a scoreless softball game against Strawberry Crest High. That’s when the hitter at the plate, Plant City’s Emily Register, got a fat curveball on the outside corner.
“I just went with it,” Register said.
The ball sailed cleanly into right-center field and two runners ran safely home. The next hitter, Kacie Booth, followed with a single up the middle, scoring two more runs.
It was all Plant City (15-4) needed to seal a key 4-0 Class 7A-District 7 victory against Strawberry Crest (16-2).
Perhaps most importantly, it tied the teams for the district lead with 7-1 records, with the teams’ only losses coming against each other (Strawberry Crest defeated Plant City 3-0 earlier this season).
“Our team came out ready to play well in our own house,” Plant City coach Maggie Feix said. “I had total faith in our girls. They believe in themselves.”
Feix said she kept the faith even though the two outs before her winning hit came on plays at the plate. Before Register stepped into the batter’s box, Feix said she told Register, “ ‘You’ve been here before, you can do this.’ I knew she could.”
On the mound, Noelle Dietrich scattered eight hits and allowed two runners to reach third base.
- Scott Purks
Neptune helps Mitchell slip past Gulf, 2-1
TRINITY — In a matchup of two of Pasco County’s powerhouse teams, Mitchell did enough to edge Gulf 2-1.
Facing talented Buccaneers pitcher Madison Morlan, the Mustangs (19-1) jumped on Gulf in the bottom of the first. After a one-out double by Kiera Delegro, Kassidy Neptune blasted a Morlan fastball over the left-field fence for a 2-0 lead.
Morlan settled down after that, with the senior allowing only one more hit the rest of the way.
Jordan Fowler was breezing through the Gulf (12-2) lineup until she ran into trouble in the fourth. Tarra Rice led off with a walk and scored on a Morlan double. Gulf inserted a pinch runner for Morlan, and after a wild pitch, the Bucs had the tying run on third with no out.
After Nikki Sedivy lined out to right field, Neptune threw out the runner at home to prevent the tying run from scoring.
Mitchell coach Scott Bisbe felt fortunate to escape with the victory.
“Morlan was so good tonight.” Bisbe said. “Her off-speed pitch was tough, and we couldn’t lay off of it.”
- Steve Campbell