Durant’s quest for a fourth trip to state since 2002 fizzled in Sunday’s rough offensive outing at Harmony. The Cougars’ season ended with a 3-0 loss to the Longhorns in a Class 7A region final delayed two days by rain.
“We just made a couple mistakes, and they took advantage,” Durant coach Matt Carter said.
Freshman pitcher and Florida Atlantic commit Sloan Hammons kept Durant (20-9) in the game before Harmony (27-2) came through with a three-run fifth inning. Two Cougar errors helped fuel the barrage and secure the Longhorns’ third trip to state in the last four years.
Even then, Durant didn’t fold.
The Cougars put runners at first and second to start the sixth but couldn’t capitalize.
“We just could not get it across the plate,” Carter said.
Harmony pitcher Aleshia Ocasio — a Florida signee — handed the Cougars their third shutout loss of the season. Madison Farrell’s double was Durant’s only extra-base hit.
Carter said a disappointing end in a close game shouldn’t overshadow a season in which Durant toppled Strawberry Crest and Plant City to win the district title on its way to the final eight.
“I don’t think anybody expected us to get out of districts,” Carter said. “We proved a lot of people wrong there.”