TAMPA — For the Plant girls, the postseason has been a time for personal records.
A week ago, junior Kelsey Eisch recorded her lowest-ever round, firing 3-under-par 69 to lead Plant to its ninth consecutive district tournament win.
Tuesday at Emerald Greens, it was another junior who carded a career best score to spearhead a Panthers victory.
Laura Hendee shot 2-under-par 70 at the Class 2A, Region 4 girls golf tournament to win medalist honors. Behind Hendee’s 70 and Eisch’s 75, Plant took the team title as well, finishing with 325 to defeat Plant City by six strokes.
“They handle the pressure very, very well,” Plant coach Vernon Korhn said. “They’re accustomed to it.”
Hendee had three birdies on the front nine and two on the back to put together her first-ever round under par on a difficult course in breezy conditions.
“I’ve been working really hard at it and it’s just coming together at the right time, I guess,” Hendee said. “I was just stroking the ball really well. I was making solid contact all day. My short game really helped me whenever I needed it, and I just really tried to make as many putts as possible.”
Laura Binkowski shot 87 and Caroline Bado added a personal-best 93 to round out the Panthers’ scoring.
A week after finishing 21 strokes behind Wharton at the district tournament, Plant City (331) defeated the Wildcats (336) by five strokes to take second place and earn a spot in next week’s state finals. The Raiders were led by a pair of 80s from Kelsey Jensen and Belinda George and also received solid scores from Kellyanna Hurst (83) and Shelby Johnson (88).
Durant’s Madison Opfer, last year’s region champion, came into the clubhouse one stroke off the lead at 1-under 71 and will return to state as the top golfer not on the first- or second-place teams.
Countryside freshman Madison Glennie grabbed the final qualifying spot by one stroke after shooting 74.
A year ago, Mitchell had two girls shoot in the 70s and two in the 80s to lead the Mustangs to a region golf title and a spot in the Class 2A state tournament.
The Mustangs were unable to duplicate that feat in 2010.
Mitchell’s Rebecca Van Etten fired a team-best 79 under breezy conditions and Emma Fivecoat came in three strokes behind Van Etten at 82. Mitchell placed fifth overall with a team score of 347.