Darlings stars unbeaten to open Series play

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By The Staff

The Lancaster County Darlings stars, age 8U, are off to a dandy start in the Dixie Softball World Series at Patriot Park in Sumter.
The Lancaster County Darlings stars, the 2017 S.C. state champion, opened the double-elimination tournament with three straight wins, including a 13-11 victory over Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday night.
The Darlings, 14-0 in postseason play, bolted to a 9-3 lead on the Alabama state champion, but the Bama team rallied to take a 10-9 edge.
Lancaster County rebounded to with four runs in the fourth inning to take a 13-10 lead.
Alabama rallied in the fifth to make it 13-11, but the LC stars held on.
Alabama had a runner to third, but Riley McManus fielded a grounder to second base and threw to Caroline Plyler at first base for the final out to end the game.
“That was our closest game so far, but we held on and pulled it out,” Lancaster County coach Gene Knight said. “We made plays and came through with big hits and key plays, especially with the game on the line.”
Plyler paced the Lancaster offense with a double and two singles. Jaylin Larrimore had a double and a single.
Kindall Hurtst supplied a double and a single. Logan Thomas added a hit.
Hurst, Thomas and Lilly White are Darlings players from the Indian Land area.
The Darlings stars notched their second win of the Series, taking a 14-2 victory over Taylor County, La., on Sunday.
White triggered the offense with a triple, double and a single. Addison Robinson drilled a double and two singles.
Cameryn Cauthen contributed three singles and Haylee Blythe had two singles in the 12-run win.
The Darlings thumped Sherman, Texas, 11-0 to open the Series on Saturday afternoon.
Ava Vincent ripped three doubles to lead the offense. Makenzie Avant had three singles and Riley McManus laced a double and a single. Addyson Knight added two singles.
The Lancaster County stars faced the Louisiana state champion in a battle of the tournament’s lone unbeaten teams on Monday night in Sumter.
“These girls are having a great time and playing well, doing an outstanding job of representing Lancaster County,” Knight said. “We’re grateful for the outstanding support and it has really made a difference.
“Lancaster County and the Lancaster County Recreation Commission have really made this special for our girls and the coaches,” Knight said.
Knight is assisted by Garrett Plyler, Spring McManus and Kim Vincent.
Tyree Mathis is the Lancaster County Parks and Recreation Commission youth softball coordinator.