GIBSONTON — One swing, one huge milestone.
Jordan Phillips’ three-run homer in the seventh inning erased a two-run deficit and gave coach Angela Slater her 500th win as visiting Riverview defeated district rival East Bay 9-6 on a chilly Tuesday night.
“It feels great,” Slater said of reaching 500 wins. “This is nice, but we’re going to have to go through East Bay and Plant City again at some point to win this district.”
Slater, in her 28th year of coaching, started at Riverview in 1998 and is the only coach in program history. She coached at Brandon before taking over at Riverview.
Trailing 6-4 with two out, Phillips got a thigh-high, 2-1 fastball over the inside of the plate and turned on it, sending a towering shot over the rightfield fence.
“It was right in my zone,” Phillips said of her first homer of the season. “When it comes down to it, coach Slater has always taught us to step. That’s what I did.”
Riverview (10-6) got on the board first in the fifth when Kayla Newsome gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with an RBI single. Then with the bases loaded, Megan Moyer cleared them with a three-run double to deep left-centerfield for a 4-0 cushion.
But East Bay (10-10) fought back with six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Madison Culver delivered a three-run double, the tying run scored on a wild pitch and Kijana Browder put the Indians ahead with a two-run base hit.
“That’s what happens when you have young kids,” Slater said. “An error here, bad pitch there, and the next thing you know you give up six in an inning.”
Riverview’s Kaitlyn McMillan led off the seventh with a single and after two quick outs Moyer singled to keep the inning alive, setting up Phillips’ heroics.