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Teams quest for crowns

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LHS, AJ, BHS seek district tourney titles

By The Staff

 

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Three Lancaster County high school softball teams will be seeking to advance to the Upper State championship series with district tournament crowns today.

Lady Bruins face Mann

The Lancaster Lady Bruins will look to wrap up the Class AAAA Upper State District I softball championship today at home.

The Lady Bruins, unbeaten in postseason play, defeated J.L. Mann of Greenville, 4-2 on Saturday afternoon.

Pagan Glenn generated the clutch hit, drilling a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning to give LHS the runs it needed.

LHS senior hurler Erin Walker, who went the distance, notched the win in facing 33 batters. She allowed 10 hits, no walks and fanned seven Lady Generals’ batters.

The Lady Generals mounted a two-out rally in the seventh, but Walker worked out of the jam for the win.

“Erin pitched a great game and that’s the kind of effort we need from her each game in the playoffs,” Perry said. “It was a senior effort.”

Claire Brown had a big game, rapping two doubles and scoring two runs with a RBI.

Katy Ghent had a hit, walk and tallied a run. Elizabeth Gaston, whose solo home run in the Lady Bruins’ playoff opener lifted Lancaster to the 1-0 win over Laurens on Thursday, had a hit and a walk.

Senior Porter Sistare supplied a bunt single and scored a run. Ariana Ealy drew a walk. Kailee Glover also walked.

“I’m real proud of the girls and I like where we are now in the playoffs,” LHS coach Kim Perry said. “We need to come to play today and have our total focus on the game.”

Lancaster hosts J.L. Mann for the district title today at 5:30. A Lancaster win will give LHS the crown and a bid to the Class AAAA Upper State title series which opens Saturday.

A LHS loss will force a second game today to decide the district crown.

Lady Vols rally, win

Andrew Jackson, trailing 7-0 and down to its final three outs, ignited for seven runs to tie the game and scored a single run in the ninth to take an exciting 8-7 win over Palmetto in the Class AA Upper State District IV softball playoffs.

The Lady Vols’ thrilling win puts AJ unbeaten in the district tournament. Andrew Jackson hosts Palmetto at 5 p.m. today. An AJ win will wrap up the district crown and a bid to the Class AA Upper State title match. A loss will force a second game to be played tonight.

In the Lady Vols’ win Saturday, AJ senior Jamee Blackmon singled home T.G. McCowan to give the top-rated Lady Vols the win.

McCowan, under the international rules tie-breaker rules, was at second to open the inning and moved to third on a Claire McManus sacrifice bunt.

In the AJ seventh, Angela Sims had a RBI-hit and McCowan had a sacrifice to score a run to make it 7-2.

McManus singled home a run to make it 7-3. Blackmon delivered a RBI-hit to make it 7-4.

Haley Faulkenberry had a sacrifice to push home a run, making it 7-5.

Ashley Williams reached on an error to slice it to 7-6. Kori Ballard’s RBI-single tied the game.

“Our girls kept fighting to the last out,” AJ coach Steve Middleton said. “Our goal is to never quit.

“In 30 years of coaching, we’ve had five comeback wins by more than seven runs in the last inning and this is the one where I never saw doubt in their eyes.”

Ballard led the offense with two hits and a RBI. Blackmon had two hits and two RBIs. McManus and Faulkenberry each had a hit, sacrifice and a RBI. Angela Sims and Ashley Williams each had a hit and drove in a run. Hannah Cobb chipped in a hit.

“In 30 years of coaching, we’ve had five comeback wins by more than seven runs in the last inning and this is the one where I never saw doubt in their eyes.”

Ballard led the offense with two hits and a RBI. Blackmon had two hits and two RBIs. McManus and Faulkenberry had a hit, sacrifice and a RBI. Angela Sims and Ashley Williams each had a hit and drove in a run. Hannah Cobb chipped in a hit.

McCowan had a sacrifice and a RBI. Summer Truesdale drew a walk for the 25-3 Lady Vols, who are No. 1 in Class AA softball.

Lady Jackets win

Buford, fresh off a dominating 9-0 win over Broome at BHS in the Class AA Upper State District I softball playoffs, will travel to Iva today in hopes of two wins over Cresent to capture the district crown and a bid to the Class AA Upper State title series.

Buford faces Crescent today at 5:30. A Lady Jackets’ win forces a second game to decide the district crown.

Buford blanked Broome, 9-0 on Monday in an elimination game as junior hurler Carley Bailey struck out nine and allowed three hits and no walks.

Ashley Lloyd had two hits, including a two-run double. Daphne Honeycutt drilled two hits and drove home a run. Hannah Knight supplied two hits.

On Saturday, Crescent rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 2-1 win over Buford.

A throwing error with two out allowed two runs to score in the narrow loss.

Hannah Knight drilled two hits, including an inside-the-park home run.

Lady Jackets’ ace hurler Carley Bailey took the loss.

IL girls ousted

Chesnee scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 3-2 win over Indian Land in the Class AA Upper State District II softball playoffs on Monday.

The Lady Warriors’ one-run loss ended IL’s season at 12-9.

Indian Land qualified as the third-place team out of Region IV-AA after defeating Central of Pageland in a special play-off game at Andrew Jackson on April 23.

Kayla Price took the loss and Abbie Harris was the winner for Crescent.

Courtney Williamson singled home the winning run for the Lady Eagles.

IL’s Brittany Crabdree had a double and drove in two runs. Alli Yarborough and Kelsi Funk each had a hit for the winners..