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PLANT CITY — Mackenzie Audas did not reach double figures in strikeouts for a change, although the Plant City ace did fan eight to extend her county-leading mark to 273.
That two-hit shutout effort, which included Chelsea Hanks mopping up with a scoreless fifth inning of relief, coupled with the Raiders’ explosive offense resulted in Tuesday’s lopsided 12-0 region quarterfinal win over Ocala Forest.
Plant City (21-6), which also defeated Ocala Forest on the road in the same round last year, advances to the semifinals.
“We’re ready, we’re hungry; that’s what it is,” Plant City coach Heidi Kouveras said. “We’ve got five games to the (state) championship. Now we’ve got four.”
The Raiders banged out 14 hits and led 6-0 by the second inning. They clinched it and sent the partisan crowd home early and happy with six runs in the fourth.
None of the six hits in that inning were bigger than the blast over the leftfield fence off the bat of Taylor Storey. That grand slam marked Storey’s first home run of the season, well off last year’s pace when she belted seven homers.
“They’ve been pitching me inside and I’m really out front, so I’ve been yanking everything foul,” Storey said. “It feels really good, because I’ve been so close with the foul balls.”
Every Plant City batter had at least one hit. Kellsey Bruner led the team with three, including a triple. MacKensie McAvoy, who had two hits, scored a team-high three runs.
Hanks hit a two-run single and Shayna Harmon had an RBI single in Plant City’s three-run first.