TAMPA — Emily Gaitan’s book on Plant City was right on the money.
“Plant City is not going to let up — ever,” she said. “You have to expect that and you’ve got to do your job.”
The Riverview junior right-handed pitcher did her job Friday night, and freshman outfielder Kayla Newsome contributed with her bat and glove as the No. 3 Sharks upset the top-seeded Raiders 5-2 for the Class 7A, District 8 title.
Gaitan went the distance on a three-hitter. She threw 125 pitches, striking out seven and walking seven. Plant City (18-5) was held to one earned run despite putting runners in scoring position in each of the final six innings. Leading 2-1, Gaitan escaped bases-loaded situations in the third and fourth. The first threat was extinguished by Newsome’s running catch in right-centerfield. And in the fifth, Plant City stranded a runner on third with one out.
Newsome, a left-handed hitter, laced her first career triple to leftfield in the sixth, sparking a three-run inning and give Riverview a 5-1 lead.
“I was in shock when I hit the ball,” Newsome said. “I just started running because I’m always thinking about the extra base. I was glad I knocked in those runs because against Plant City, a couple of runs are never enough.”
Riverview (15-14) took a 2-0 first-inning lead on a double by Taylor McCoy and a single by Kaitlyn McMillan.
When in trouble, Gaitan stuck to her game plan.
“I was thinking I have to throw strikes and get outs,” she said. “Just make them swing and miss, or throw (pitches) where their bats aren’t.”