Gaston’s blast lifts Lady Bruins to win

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Staff Reports
One hit was enough for the Lancaster Lady Bruins in their Class AAAA Upper State District I softball tournament opener Thursday.
LHS sophomore Elizabeth Gaston slammed a solo home run in the fourth inning and the Lady Bruins made it stand in a 1-0 playoff home win over Laurens.
Gaston’s blast was the lone LHS hit in the win.
Senior hurler Erin Walker worked seven innings and faced 25 batters and posted six strikeouts. She allowed a double and a walk.
Laurens loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning, but Walker responded to the challenge with three clutch strikeouts to quell the rally.
“Our girls showed a lot of character in a key part of the game,” LHS coach Kim Perry said.
Walker drew a walk and Ariana Ealy also drew a walk.
LHS, 14-13, was slated to host J.L. Mann in a 1 p.m. game Saturday. Mann blanked Greenwood, 12-0 in its first-round playoff win.
LHS qualified for the playoffs as the runner-up from Region IV-AA.
Lady Vols roll
Top-rated Andrew Jackson launched the Class AA Upper State District IV softball playoffs with a 21-0 win over Eau Claire of Columbia on Thursday at AJ.
The Lady Vols, ranked No. 1 in Class AA softball, are 24-3.
Hannah Cobb was the winner in two innings of work, striking out six and allowing a hit and a walk.
Lindsey Robinson pitched two innings and posted five strikeouts. She walked one and allowed no hits. Morgan Hendrix went an inning and fanned one with a hit and a walk.
Mallory Ray keyed the AJ offense with a triple and drove in two runs.
Angela Sims,  Halle Thompson and Kaitlyn Holden each had a hit and drove in two runs. Kaitlym Starnes supplied a hit and drove in a run.
Haley Faulkenberry drilled a double for the 24-3 AJ girls, the state’s top-rated team in Class AA prep softball.
Ashley Williams and Morgan Bailey each had a hit. Kori Ballard had a sacrifice fly RBI.
Summer Truesdale and Hannah Cobb each drew two walks. Claire McManus and Jamee Blackmon each had a walk.
Lady Jackets swarm STHS
The Buford Lady Jackets rolled to a 28-0 win over Strom Thurmond to open the Class AA Upper State District I softball playoffs at BHS on Thursday.
Carley Bailey, in five innings, tossed a two-hitter and struck out nine. Bailey allowed no walks.
She aided her cause with two doubles and a pair of walks.
Hannah Knight paced the Buford attack with three hits, including a solo home run. Erica Blackmon had three hits in four trips to the plate.
Buford, the IV-AA runner-up,  ventured to Iva to face Crescent on Saturday afternoon.
Lady Warriors win
Indian Land opened Class AA Upper State District II tournament play with a 4-2 road win over Batesburg-Leesville on Thursday.
Indian Land will face an elimination game Monday after the Lady Warriors dropped a tough 2-1 loss to host Woodruff in a winner’s bracket on Friday at Woodruff.
Indian Land opened the playoffs with a 4-2 comeback win over Batesburg-Leesville on Thursday.
Elizabeth Myers’ two-run single in the seventh inning put IL ahead to stay against B-L.
Kayla Price tied the game with two RBIs in the IL sixth.
Price, 12-7, was the winner. She aided her cause with two doubles and a pair of RBIs.
An inning later, Myers, who had two hits, drove in two runs to put IL ahead to stay.
Alli Yarborough had two singles for the IL girls.
On Friday, the IL girls dropped a tough loss as Woodruff’s Ashlea Hunter’s solo home run gave the Lady Wolverines the win.
Price allowed six hits and struck out six in the loss.
Kelsi Funk’s RBI-sacrifice fly RBI-sac fly put IL up 1-0 in the second inning.

Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157