Plant City took a 2-1 loss Friday night but will advance to the regional quarterfinal round next week.
Though the Plant City Raiders fought well, Friday night just wasn’t their night.
Bloomingdale won the 8A-District 6 tournament by a 2-1 score in a closely contested game at 1 Raider Place, held one day after an evening downpour turned the field into dirt soup and forced a rescheduling. Both teams have advanced to the FHSAA’s regional tournament but the Raiders will be forced to travel for round one.
Thursday’s action ended in the top of the first inning with one out and one batter on base, but the Bulls couldn’t make anything happen when the game resumed Friday evening. Four and a half innings went by and no one was able to cross home plate, though the hosting Raiders came close several times. Plant City didn’t have any problems putting runners on base, but scoring them was a different story: PCHS hit into three double plays on the evening and runners had gotten to either second or third base on all three occasions.
Bloomingdale broke the 0-0 tie in the top of the fifth inning when Georgia Krohn took advantage of a fielding error at first base to cross home plate. Kailey Harrigan’s sacrifice fly with one out drove in E-Mani Bailey-Usma for the Bulls’ second and final run of the game.
The Raiders started to rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when Rylee Moorman, Abbie DeWeese and Emily Longoria loaded the bases with one out. Stephanie Bowers was able to drive in Moorman in the next at-bat to end the shutout, but she also hit into a double play that ended the inning right after Moorman scored. Plant City ace Ashley Blessin then pitched one of her best innings of the game, striking out three of the four batters she faced to end her night on the mound with nine strikeouts.
Plant City just couldn’t make anything happen in the bottom of the seventh in a three-up, three-down inning for Bloomingdale’s Maddie Droz and the defense.
Steinbrenner will host the Raiders next Wednesday evening and Bloomingdale will host Sickles. Both games will begin at 7 p.m.