Pinewood softball team ends historic season in semifinals
The Pinewood Varsity Softball Team recently completed play in the SCISA AAA State Tournament.
Coming off the first ever softball region championship in school history, the team began play in the tournament against rival Orangeburg Prep. This proved to be a tough match with the Indians coming away with a 1-0 victory.
The Panthers came back to defeat Hammond 12-6 in the next game garnering the first state tournament win in school history. Pinewood then went on to defeat Florence Christian 5-1 before being eliminated by Orangeburg Prep in the semifinals 3-0.
The softball team finished the year with a 14-9-1 record.
Over the four games of play at the state championship tournament, junior pitcher Megan Kuhn dominated the field with 37 strikeouts. Senior Austin Utsey had a team-high nine runs scored, most driven in by Kuhn and junior Olivia Coyle who batted almost .500 in post season play.
“It was a bitter-sweet ending to an amazing season,” Pinewood coach Chris Cusack said. “We wanted to finish with a state title, but I can’t complain after a season of so many firsts for our softball program.”
The Panthers season didn’t end for all the players, as three were selected to play in the North/South All Star game. Utsey, Kuhn and Coyle helped contribute to the 5-0 win over the North.
Utsey finished her softball career at Pinewood with 60 stolen bases. She was named the 2013 Region Player of the Year after finishing the season with an on-base percentage of .723, a slugging average of .746, a batting average .657. She scored 41 runs this year.
Coyle, Kuhn and Rebekah DeToma also made the All-region team while Utsey, Coyle and Kuhn were named to the High School Sports Report All-state team.
Coyle finished the season with a batting average of .507, on-base percent of .545, and slugging average of .662. She had 23 RBIs, nine doubles, and the least number of strikeouts on the team.
Kuhn had a batting average of .492, on base percent of .515, slugging average of .569, and defensively struck out 212 players on the season.
Catcher Kayla Owens was also a major contributor to the team, catching every game this season. Other key members include Kayla Westbury, Precious Paylor, Michaela McAuley, Crystal Owens, Kareyah Harrison, Mary Beth Hatchett, Emily Charpia and Ashley Clarke.
“The girls got better and better as the year progressed,” Pinewood coach Marcus Smith said. “Having a pitcher like Megan Kuhn, and by far the best athlete I have ever coached, Austin Utsey, it was exciting to see what they were going to do each game. To see the team perform around them was truly special. Pinewood has a bunch of amazing girls and I’m just glad I could be a part of this season. I want to thank Coach Cusack for letting me coach this year; it has been one of the best years of coaching I have had in the past 15 years.”