Lady Falcon softball wins first round at lower state
By Will Isgett, Contributing Writer
Hilton Head traveled more than three hours to Lady Falcon field last Friday and the ride home was made even worse as Darlington took care of the Lady Seahawks 11-2 in the first round of the Class 3A District 5 lower state game.
With the win the Lady Falcons earned a trip to Columbia this past Monday to face Gilbert who downed Myrtle Beach 13-5.
If Darlington won the game they will play host to the District 5 championship this Friday, and with a loss it sent them to the losers bracket where they would host the winner of the Hilton Head-Myrtle Beach on Wednesday at Lady Falcon field. The tournament is double elimination and all brackets can be found at www.schsl.org.
Darlington coach Tim Wiley was pleased with the Lady Falcons win.
“I told them that everyone is 0-0 going into the state playoffs and that all the bad games don’t count anymore,” Wiley said. “We’ve just gotta keep working hard and pitching better.”
The pitching was no problem for Darlington against Hilton Head. Lady Falcon Bailey Yarborough pitched a complete game giving up only two hits while striking out four.
She kept the Lady Seahawk hitters off balance off all day and having her pitch a compete game was a huge plus heading into the Gilbert game.
Wiley said the key to doing well in the playoffs is keeping your players fresh, because tougher competition lies ahead.
“We’ve good hitters and play good defense,” Wiley said. “We know it’s gonna get tougher the further we go, the hitting and pitching is gonna get better.”
Hilton Head took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Darlington came right back and scored three runs in the bottom of the first.
The runs were keyed by a Hailey Clark double and a Kirsten Stone single that scored Clark. Stone went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s on the day.
Darlington plated two more runs in the fourth inning and blew the game open in the fifth inning highlighted by a Sydney Blackmon double off the center field fence and a two run RBI double by Hannah Gainey. Blackmon went 3-for-4 on the night hitting several balls deep in the ballpark while Gainey went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s.
Before the first round playoff game, the Lady Falcons traveled to Hartsville to end the regular season and fell to the Lady Red Foxes 7-0.
Hartsville pitcher Kayla Drotar pitched a gem giving up only two hits and striking out 10 Falcons and she also hit a homerun in the first inning and had two RBI’s.
The Lady Falcons couldn’t get the offense going and Wiley said that his team would continue to work on that as the season progresses.
The Darlington Junior Varsity ended its successful season with an 8-4 loss to Hartsville. The Junior Varsity Falcons tied the game a 4-4 in the fifth inning but couldn’t hold off the pesky Foxes. Among the highlights of the season were winning the Lugoff Elgin Tournament over 15 other teams this season, including Hartsville.