VALRICO — The season series between Plant and Alonso (17-8, 4-5) was split before Thursday’s 6A-8 district final, but after overcoming a three-run deficit to defeat Wharton in a semifinal, the Panthers gained confidence and showed off their defensive skills in the district final, defeating Alonso 1-0.
“We were rejuvenated tonight, said Panthers coach Melissa Sigmon. “That win against Wharton gave us the confidence we needed because we played a really good team tonight.”
According to Sigmon, the entire right side of Plant’s infield has been replaced by players who played different positions at the beginning of the season. With these defensive changes, Panthers ace Miranda Clark was relied on heavily and did not disappoint, striking out six.
The only score came on a 3-2 count in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of senior Danielle Leroy’s RBI double .
Leroy also plays varsity soccer for the Panthers (14-9, 8-1).
“I struggled at the beginning of the year, but just to get that hit in a game like this for my team feels amazing,” she said . “I knew she (Alonso pitcher Erika Shick) was throwing inside all night, so I just read the pitch and hit it down the line.”
On the game’s last play, Ravens freshman Kiara Johnson was called out for obstruction while running to first base.