Last Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017
In a battle of 2016 state finalists in Polk County, an undermanned Lake Region team upset No. 9 Bartow at Rock Wren Field. It was the final regular season tune-up for both teams before district tournaments begin next week.
Despite the absence of three seniors, including Arkansas signee and ace Mary Haff, who missed the game because of a scholar awards presentation, the Thunder were still able to string together enough base hits to record a 3-1 victory.
Leadoff hitter Jordan Barnes notched three of their 14 hits, including a double in the third inning. She scored the first run of the game on Destiny King's sacrifice fly. Bartow answered in the bottom of the inning, as an RBI single for Ashton Owen drove in Destiny Breeden.
The top of the 5th featured five Lake Region hits, none bigger than Meaghan Branche's RBI double that scored King. Taylor Rowland added an insurance run with an RBI single later in the inning.
Jordan Barnes earned her fourth win of the year, pitching a complete game and allowing only four hits and no earned runs.
Lake Region (16-9) has already clinched a playoff spot as the #1 seed in 7A District 7. They will face the winner of Lake Gibson-Winter Haven in the district championship game next week. The Thunder took two out of three meetings this season from Bartow.
The Yellow Jackets (16-8) are the #1 seed in the 8A-11 tournament and face Lakeland next week in the district semifinals, where a win will clinch their 21st consecutive playoff appearance.
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