When it rains, it pours for Hartsville Softball
By Don Gearhart
For three innings, the Lady Red Foxes of Hartsville seemed to be on their way to a victory over Region opponent, West Florence. They had built up a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Then, the bottom fell out as the Lady Knights erupted for six runs to take a 7-4 lead that they never relinquished.
Myah Harvey got things started for Hartsville in the first inning when she got aboard on an error. An out later, Avarie Easters singled moving Harvey to third. Caydon Thompson’s grounder to short was misplayed and Harvey scampered home to give the Lady Red Foxes the early lead. Easters was retired attempting to get to third, but Thompson advanced to second on the play. Emma Kate Hudson put runners on the corners with a base hit. Abbey Byrd picked up an RBI single to score Thompson and Hartsville took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the first inning. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases for West Florence before a fielding error allowed a run to score.
In the third inning, Thompson led off with a home run. With two outs, Tatum Weaver drilled a double to score Trinity Davis who was aboard on a fielder’s choice. Hartsville put two more runners on the bases but could not get either across the plate and settled for the 4-1 lead.
The lead changed in the bottom of the fourth. Taryn Weatherford got hit by a pitch and scored on Ava Gainey’s triple. A walk to Ashlyn Daisy was followed by an RBI base hit by Summer Holland. Mia Boykin walked to load the bases. An out later, Abby Gibbs walked to bring in the second run. A base hit by Madi DuBose drove home two more runs and moved Gibbs to third. Gibbs scored on a wild pitch for the sixth run of the inning giving West Florence a 7-4 lead.
Hartsville closed the gap to 7-5 in the top of the sixth. Harvey led off the inning with a base hit. Easters singled to move Harvey to third. Thompson’s RBI single allowed Harvey to score. The Lady Knights answered in a hurry as Annie Ruth Eliason led off with a home run. After Gibbs singled, DuBose cleared the bases with a home run. The next two batters were retired via strikeouts, but a trio of base hits from Gainey, Daisy, and Holland, a walk to Boykin and a base hit for Eliason accounted for seven runs and a 14-5 lead. The game ended when Gibbs came through with a walk-off base hit ending the game at 15-5 culminating with a shortened 10-run rule.
Thompson and Easters each had two hits for Hartsville. Gibbs and DuBose collected three hits each for West Florence while Holland, Eliason, and Gainey each had two hits. Eliason was the winning pitcher and Weaver took the loss for Hartsville.