The Plant City Raiders were all smiles on their Senior Night, and it wasn’t hard to understand why.
The Raiders’ final regular-season home game resulted in an easy 7-0 win over Hillsborough during which each of the team’s four seniors picked up a hit and three saw some action on the pitchers’ mound.
Plant City’s offense scored all of its runs with six hits, five walks and three Terriers errors in the first four innings. Haley Frangioni led the way by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI. Rylee Moorman and Abbie DeWeese each finished with one hit and one run scored, and DeWeese added an RBI for good measure.
The Raiders got just over four quality innings from Blessin on the mound, with the senior giving up just two hits while striking out 12 Terriers. DeWeese and Moorman got some time on the mound during the game’s last three innings and DeWeese struck out two batters in the process.
Plant City will travel to Lennard tonight and Armwood Saturday morning to close out the regular season.
Durant also picked up a blowout win Tuesday night, posting an 11-1 score at Lennard fueled by 10 total hits from the offense.
It was a big night at the plate for a pair of freshmen: Shelby Allen and Haleigh Thomas each went 2-for-3 and put some runs on the board. Allen scored two runs of her own and Thomas finished with one run scored and an RBI driven in. Kayla Lissy, Andrea Rebello and Samantha Hampton also scored two runs each for the Cougars, and Jordan Noble led the team with two RBI. Durant scored all 11 of its runs in the third and fourth innings after getting into a 1-0 hole in the bottom of the second. That included a seven-run explosion in the fourth inning.
The Cougars only needed five innings to win the game and Kayla Swinson made all four of hers count. Though Durant got into a 1-0 hole in the bottom of the second inning, Swinson was otherwise rock solid and limited the Longhorns to four hits on the night with six strikeouts. McKenna Thompson finished the game on the mound for the Cougars.
Durant will host Strawberry Crest at 7 p.m. tonight in both teams’ season finale and will kick off district play on April 30 with a 4 p.m. home game against Bloomingdale.
Crest didn’t get quite as lucky on its own Senior Night, giving Sickles a serious run for its money but ultimately falling, 5-4, at home.
The Chargers went down 2-0 after the top of the first inning but found a rhythm midway through the game. Thanks to productive third and fifth innings from the offense, Crest was able to fight its way up to a 4-2 lead heading into the sixth inning. But the Gryphons snapped out of their own scoring slump in the next two innings, scoring once in the sixth to get within striking distance and putting two more on the board in the seventh to go ahead for good.
The FHSAA 8A-District 6 tournament featuring Durant and Plant City will be held at Plant City High School beginning at 7 p.m. April 29 and ends with a 7 p.m. championship game May 2. The 8A-District 4 tournament, in which Crest will compete, will take place at Freedom High School beginning at 4 p.m. April 30 and also ending with a 7 p.m. game on May 2.