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SOPHOMORE COMES UP BIG FOR RAIDERS

Vengeance was Plant City's on Wednesday night as the Raiders knocked Bartow out of the Class 7A region tournament with a 5-2 victory after losing to the Yellow Jackets at this stage last year.

The Raiders were fueled by a complete-game performance from sophomore Noelle Dietrich, who gave up just two runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts. Afterward, the team was looking forward to the possibility of a district final rematch with East Bay.

"This win was big for this team because we have a lot of history with Bartow," Plant City coach Amanda Sawyer said. "This win gives these girls a lot of confidence. We got a mature performance from Noelle tonight, and now we'd love to see East Bay again."

The Raiders will have to wait for the rematch, however, because the Indians lost to Lake Region 4-1 in the quarterfinals.

Dietrich gave herself run support at the plate, driving in two runs in the first inning and connecting on the fly ball that drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the sixth.

After five shutout innings, Bartow managed to play small ball to get two runs in the top of the sixth. But with the bases loaded in the bottom half Dietrich smacked a shallow fly ball into centerfield that was caught, but followed by a double throwing error that allowed all three runs to score.

"We were ready for this game," Dietrich said. "I felt good on the mound during warmups and was just focusing on hitting my spots. I was able to use my changeup to keep them off balance, and at the plate it meant a lot to me to give us a few key runs."

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Lake Region too much for East Bay

GIBSONTON - Considering how far they'd come, veteran East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez couldn't be too upset. East Bay, seeded third in last week's district tournament, finished a mediocre 6-4 in the final 7A-8 standings. The Indians twice suffered three-game losing streaks during the season and at one point were below .500.

"Considering where we were at during certain points of this season," Rodriguez said, "we'd come a long away."

Unfortunately, it wasn't quite far enough.

Haley Wiseman was brilliant in the circle and Lake Region (20-8) put up three runs in the sixth as the visiting Thunder defeated East Bay 4-1.

"(Wiseman) was very good," Rodriguez said. "She would get ahead in the count and then spot it on the corners."

Wiseman didn't throw especially hard but was able to locate her pitches well, especially up in the zone. The junior righty fanned 13 and gave up just three hits - all singles.

"She had a really good riseball," East Bay starter Taylor Baker said. "Everything had great movement."

Baker was one of the few Indians (17-12) to solve Wiseman. Baker singled home Kiara Burrows in the sixth to pull East Bay within two. Madison Culver represented the tying run at the plate, but Wiseman pulled the string on a wicked changeup for a strikeout, ending the Indians' threat.

"We had way too many strikeouts," Rodriguez said. "Their pitcher just had our number."

Brandon Wright, Times correspondent

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UP NEXT

Region semifinals

7 p.m. Tuesday unless noted

7A: Plant City atLake Region

7A: Freedom at Chamberlain

5A: Bayshore at Blake

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