Lady Falcons honor seniors at home game
By Will Isgett, Contributing Writer
With the Class 3A playoffs just around the corner the high school softball season is quickly coming to a close.
To end their home schedule, Darlington played host to rival Hartsville with both teams entering the contest at 5-0 in the region.
The varsity team fell to the Lady Red Foxes 14-6 while the junior varsity Falcons took a 3-0 loss on senior night at Lady Falcon field.
Before the varsity game three seniors were honored including Adrianna Weatherford, Kirsten Stone and Crystal James.
Weatherford and Stone will both continue their career at Florence-Darlington Tech and both play softball for the Lady Stingers, while James will attend Spartanburg Methodist with aspirations of becoming a nurse.
“Our seniors have set examples for the other kids, both on and off the field,” Wiley said. “ All three are determined players that have worked hard and love the game.”
The Lady Falcons looked as though they came to knock off the defending region and lower state champion Red Foxes early in the contest.
Darlington scored five runs in the first inning off Hartsville starter Taylor Watford keyed with a double by Bailey Yarborough, a single by Carson Yarborough and a bases loading clearing single by James.
The Lady Red Foxes, who were coming off an impressive Championship, win in the Cresent High School Invitational during Spring Break, started to claw their way back into the game slowly.
After Darlington took a 6-1 lead in the second inning, the rally began.
University of South Carolina commitment Kayla Drotar hit the first of her three homeruns in the third to cut the lead to 6-2. Before the inning was over the Lady Red Foxes had tied the game.
Drotar hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning and the Red Foxes added two more runs in the seventh inning to put the game away.
Drotar, who normally is the starting pitcher for the Lady Red Foxes, came in relief in the fourth inning and shut the Darlington offense down.
Weatherford took the loss on the mound in relief of Bailey Yarborough. Weatherford gave up six runs in four innings.
Darlington head coach Tim Wiley said his team must improve in several areas to get ready for the rest of the season.
“To bounce back, we have got to learn how to stay focused when we have a bad inning, play the whole game and not just half,” Wiley said. “Hartsville is a top notch team and you have to bring your A game.”
Earlier in the day the Darlington junior varsity hung close but ended up falling to Hartsville 3-0.
The junior varsity Falcons didn’t pick up their first hit until the fifth inning, that being a single by Kaleigh Norton. Kayla Turner followed that up with a single but Darlington wasn’t able to put any runs on the board.
The Darlington varsity will finish its season with four straight region road games before finishing the regular season with a non-region doubleheader at Cheraw on April 25.
The Lady Falcons 5-1 in the region are assured a spot in the Class 3A playoffs and are in a battle for the second place with Marlboro County.
Darlington beat Marlboro County 7-0 earlier the season.