The runs came in one bunch, all in the sixth inning. And for an East Bay team known for relying heavily on the arm of junior Kayla Cox, coach Glenn Rodriguez was proud to see his bats return the favor in clutch fashion.
East Bay staged a comeback for a 6-3 win against Durant in a Class 6A, District 8 semifinal Tuesday, defeating the Cougars for the third time this season. The win guarantees a region quarterfinal berth and a chance to play for the district title.
"I kept saying sooner or later we were going to put our hits together," Rodriguez said. "… Finally in the sixth all heck blew up."
Durant (12-14) took command with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Two scored on a throwing error to home plate and the third run came in on a sacrifice fly by Brielle Gordon. The Cougars also got strong hitting from leadoff batter Kelly Jones, who went 3-for-4 with two singles and a double.
East Bay (16-8) responded by loading the bases twice in its half of the sixth, with RBIs by Elizabeth Nugent and Cox followed by a fielder's choice to tie it at 3.
Indians freshman Allysa Caisse got the biggest hit of the season with a double to score three for a 6-3 lead for her only hit of the game.
In the other semifinal, Riverview defeated Plant City 8-7.
Riverview (14-10) scored four in the first, one in the third and three in the fifth. Plant City (18-7) had its best inning in the sixth highlighted by Annalise Coffee, who went 4-for-4.