Hartsville softball near perfect after 2-0 game
By Don Gearhart
The night was perfect. The chili dogs were perfect. Myah Harvey’s bunt single in the sixth inning was perfect as were stolen base. Olivia Martin’s sacrifice bunt was also perfect, and when the throw to first sailed into right field, Harvey scored and Martin sailed around the bases all the way to third base. One out later, Caydon Thompson laid down a perfect sacrifice squeeze bunt and Martin made a perfect slide to score an insurance run.
Until then, the game was a pitching battle between North Myrtle Beach’s Lauren Hilburn and Hartsville ace, Alyssa Poston. Hilburn gave up a first inning base on balls and lost perfection when Thompson lofted a soft fly ball over the shortstop’s head. Until the aforementioned bottom of the sixth, she kept the Lady Red Foxes off the basepaths, striking out 12 batters against the lone walk.
Mars Hill University commit and prospective criminology major, Poston, was even better. Befittingly, she was judiciously sitting down the Lady Chiefs with a blazing fastball and near pinpoint control. Poston was almost perfect. The only baserunners came in the fifth inning when the leadoff batter was safe at first when an infield grounder was misplayed. An out later, she surrendered her only walk on the night. With two outs a tough ground ball looked to be trouble. Avarie Easters, making her first appearance after returning from injury, made a heads up play to field the ball and tag out the runner heading to second base and end the only threat of the night for the Lady Chiefs. Those fifth inning baserunners kept Poston from being perfect. She retired the side in the sixth and seventh innings, striking out three of her 12 on the night. Her no-hitter was intact and almost perfect.
Only two batted balls left the infield for either team. Thomson’s single in the fourth and a foul flyout by the Lady Chiefs in the sixth. That flyball out was recorded when Jaysha McCullough made a running catch along the right field fence.
The large crowd at Phyllis Griggs Field erupted when the last out in the top of the seventh was recorded on a weak grounder to first in acknowledgement of the superb, if not perfect, outing. Hartsville now leads the Region with a 7-0 record and 12-3 overall. They are batting at a 0.308 clip as a team with individual leaders including Poston (0.605), Harvey (0.467), Thompson (0.381) and Martin (0,286).
Next up for the Lady Red Foxes is an away game against second place West Florence on April 5th.