TAMPA — For five innings Tuesday, only one mistake separated Plant and Sarasota.
But by the time the sixth inning was over, Sarasota went from nursing a 1-0 lead to prepping for the next round of the state playoffs. Behind big hits and solid defense Sarasota left Plant with a 6-1 win.
Sarasota faces Palm Harbor University Friday. The Panthers, who won nine games in a row heading into region play, see their season end at 22-5.
"You can't wait until the sixth inning to put any offense together," Plant coach Melissa Sigmon said. "They're (Sarasota) a very good hitting team. And we weren't hitting our spots (pitching)."
The Sailors' Ashley Brooks connected on a Rose Yanger pitch for a towering home run to rightfield in the second inning. Sarasota broke out in the sixth, as Katelyn Johnsky's homer over the rightfield wall started a four-run inning.
The Panthers got some offense in the sixth, posting four hits and narrowing the score to 4-1 when Ashley Schnitzler singled home Courtney Croney.
Rod Gipson, Times correspondent