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From the third base coach’s box, East Bay’s Glenn Rodriguez issued a sign Friday night that can make a coach look like a genius or a joke. Nina Caisse took the sign, executed a drag bunt, and made Rodriguez look like Joe Torre.
Caisse’s two-out, fifth-inning bunt scored sister Allysa from third and lifted East Bay (19-7-1) to a tense 2-1 triumph over Plant City (17-8) in the final of the 5A-8 tournament.
The clutch bunt capped a two-run rally in the fifth that began when Nicole Kennedy walked, was ruled safe on a heavily debated steal of second and scored on Allysa Caisse’s hit.
“We were going on the bunt, no doubt about it, but actually Nina was bunting to get on base,” Rodriguez said. “I told Allysa, ‘This ball’s bunted, just go because I’m hoping they’re going to go to you (at home) instead of your sister,’ and that’s exactly what happened.”
Preceding the series of events was a pitchers’ duel between Plant City ace and UCF commitment Mackenzie Audas and North Carolina State signee Kayla Cox, each of whom had 11 strikeouts.
Raiders junior catcher Taylor Storey tagged Cox for a home run, her seventh of the year and second in as many games, to give the Raiders an early lead. Cox made her team’s lead stand up by fanning five in the final two innings.