Hartsville softball falls to Lugoff-Elgin
By Don Gearhart
With a chance to play Region rival South Florence for a berth in the Lower State Championship, the Lady Red Foxes made the trip down I-20 to face a Lugoff-Elgin team that had defeated them earlier in the playoffs by an 11-1 score.
The Lady Demons made quick work in the top of the first inning, recording a fly out and two strikeouts to set Hartsville down in order. For Lugoff-Elgin, a walk to lead off the inning was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a base hit to give the home team a 1-0 advantage after one inning of play.
Caydon Thompson did manage a two-out walk to give Hartsville their first baserunner in the top of the second inning but Emma Kate Hudson’s sharp lineout was snagged by the left fielder to end the inning. The Lady Demons started their half of the inning with a base hit. A wild pitch put a runner in scoring position and a ground out moved her to third base. Another base hit produced a second run for the home team.
Hartsville would be retired in order in the top of the third inning. After retiring the first Lady Demon in the bottom half of the third, Lugoff-Elgin would get their third run on a solo homer to right field. Consecutive walks following the homerun would prove fatal to the Lady Red Foxes when a two-out single brought a fourth run across the plate.
Jaysha McCullough walked to lead off the Lady Red Foxes fourth Trinity Davis got an infield single to break up the no-hitter. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third before Avarie Easters fielder’s choice was caught by the pitcher and thrown to home to get McCullough trying to score. Davis advanced to third on the play and Hartsville had runners on the corners with just one out. Abbey Byrd lined a 1-2 pitch to left field that was misplayed. As a result of the error, Davis trotted home with the first run for the Hartsville squad. The Lady Demons didn’t break stride with a leadoff base hit and a sacrifice bunt. Then, an error on a grounder to first enabled a fifth run to score.
In Hartsville’s fifth inning, Jamarria Pendergrass and Tatum Weaver were both safe when errors were committed on their ground balls. The second error allowed Pendergrass to take third base and Weaver to advance to second with nobody out. Myah Harvey flied out to left field for the first out and the throw to the plate was in time to get Pendergrass out. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Demons got a base hit. A sacrifice moved the runner to second and she scored on another timely base hit to give the Lady Demons a 6-1 lead.
Davis opened the Lady Red Foxes sixth with a double to left. A flyout was followed by a ground out that moved Davis to third. With two outs, Thompson laced a 2-0 pitch to left for an RBI single. For the first time all night, the Lady Demons were retired in order.
In their final at bat, Hartsville was only able to get a two-out base hit from Harvey and found themselves eliminated from postseason play by a score of 6-2.
Davis had two of Hartsville’s four hits with Thompson and Harvey collecting the other two. Hartsville’s season ended with a respectable 15-9 record.