VENICE — Same place, same pitcher, same result.
Plant traveled down to Venice to face the Indians and pitcher Stephanie Sullivan, only to be sent home with another 1-0 loss in the region finals. Sullivan threw a one-hit shutout and drove in the game's only run.
"This is eerily the same as last year," Panther coach Melissa Sigmon said. "Mentally we were where we needed to be after beating Chamberlain, but if you don't hit you don't win."
The Panthers came in riding a wave of confidence after their region semifinal upset but Sullivan shut down the Plant offense until the Indians could score.
"We talked about staying off the rise ball and making solid contact," Sigmon said. "She's (Sullivan) a great pitcher."
Sullivan and Kayla Suskauer were locked in a pitchers' duel. Plant's Reina Baluja reached on an error in the third and moved to second on a sacrifice but that was as far as a Plant runner got the entire game.
Emily Parsons and Sullivan each had singles in the third and fifth innings but Plant came up with good plays on defense to keep the game scoreless.
Sarah Bowling recorded Plant's only hit with one out in the seventh and moved up to second on a sacrifice but the Panthers (22-7) were unable to get the run in.
"I was kind of surprised she was able to do this to our offense," Sigmon said. "We'd get runners on and not back it up."
In the bottom of the seventh Suskauer got a quick out before giving up a one-out triple to Mel Dembinski. Suskauer walked the next batter before inducing a popout to the second baseman. Sullivan then singled to left to score Dembinski for the winner.
"It's about cookie cutter of last year," Sigmon said. "Our strategy at the end was not to get beat by a bloop but it's hard to defense hard-hit balls. Their offense is a perfect example of timely hitting."
5A: Bulls fall in eight
AUBURNDALE — Auburndale senior Kenshyra Jackson hit a towering three-run home in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Bloodhounds a 5-3 victory over Bloomingdale.
Auburndale pitcher Taylor Cochran went all the way, and had to pitch her way out of several jams, thanks to defensive lapses by her team. Bloomingdale (22-9) had only four hits off Cochran (23-4), who struck out 12 and walked one. Bulls pitcher Kaylyn Camacho allowed seven hits and stuck out 11.
The Bulls took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on one hit and three errors. They had the bases loaded with none out, but the Bloodhounds (25-4) settled down and got out of it.
After Auburndale went up 2-1, Bloomingdale tied it in the fourth inning on a single by Hannah Hensley, a ground out and an error on a ground ball. Another Auburndale error in the eighth, a dropped fly in leftfield, a walk, a bunt single by Kashyn Castellarus and a wild pitch gave the Bulls their 3-2 lead.