Green Wave bunts its way into region’s top spot
The Green Wave softball team conducted a bunting clinic in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday to break open a one-run game.
Summerville earned an 11-5 victory over rival Fort Dorchester in a game originally played April 17. A Summerville protest over an incorrect dead-ball ruling in the top of the first inning that day was upheld, forcing the teams to pick the game up this week from the point of that ruling.
Summerville was awarded a 1-0 lead and resumed its turn at bat with pitcher Taylor Wuerfel on third base with one out in the first.
Catcher Taylor Belfiore came to the plate and singled to drive in Wuerfel and extend the Wave’s lead. After Dani Halajcsik reached on a fielder’s choice, freshman Summer Jenkins hit a homerun to left field for a 4-0 Summerville lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Fort Dorchester catcher Jessyca Calhoun singled to plate leadoff hitter Ashley Rogers. The Patriots then pulled within a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Calhoun led off the at bat with a double and scored on a single by pitcher Mackenzie Broughton and a groundout by left fielder Savannah Ferguson. Right fielder Brittany Jessee then singled to plate Ferguson for a 4-3 score.
But things got out of hand for the Patriots in the sixth.
Hannah Horton opened the inning with a single. Then the Wave laid down five straight bunts to put four runners on and score four runs for an 8-3 lead. Anna Gluhosky, Sarah Windham, Taylor Powell and Wuerfel all bunted their way on and Belfiore laid down a sacrifice.
Summerville added two runs off Fort errors and another off a single by Horton to take an 11-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
The Fort started a rally in the bottom of the seventh, but it was short lived. Kaitlyn Kerley reached on a single and then scored when Calhoun homered to right centerfield. But after Broughton reached on a single, Summerville turned a double play to end the game.
Calhoun had a walkoff homer on April 17 that at the time seemed to give the Patriots a 7-5 victory over Summerville but the walkoff, four hits from Kerley, and the Fort victory were nullified by the protest.
“The Fort kids played really well Wednesday night,” Summerville coach Heather Tucker said. “They had some seniors hit the ball and came back in the seventh inning so I totally respect that and feel for those kids but the rules are the rules. From our stand point being able to play the game again was a big opportunity, one that doesn’t happen very often.
“We knew we needed to find some ways to score some runs in order to take advantage of that opportunity. The Fort has hit our pitchers probably better than anyone else this year and they were tough again so I’m just glad to come out of this game tonight with a win.”
Jenkins led the Summerville batters, going 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Windham, Halajcsik and Horton also all had two hits for Summerville. Wuerfel and Halajcsik both reached base four times and combined drove in three runs and scored three runs.
Calhoun led the Patriot batters, going 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Broughton was 2 for 4 and both she and Rogers reached base three times.
Summerville tallied 13 hits to the Fort’s eight.
With the victory, Summerville improved to 19-6 with a 7-3 mark in Region 8-AAAA. The Wave and Bluffton finish the season as co-region champions, but Summerville claimed the region’s top playoff seed on tiebreaker criteria. Summerville will host either Dutch Fork or Lugoff-Elgin in the second round Saturday.
With the loss, Fort Dorchester fell to 3-7 in the region and was knocked out of playoff contention. The Patriot team will graduate seven seniors who will be missed. Among other things, they will be remembered for breaking a five-year losing streak in the Summerville series by earning an 8-3 victory over the Green Wave on March 29.
“This is a special group of girls and it will be tough losing them,” Fort Dorchester coach Shae Russell said. “They always had a positive attitude and always fought even when we had a few bad innings. It’s a shame we didn’t play all season the way we played against Summerville the first two times we faced them because we were a tough team those two nights.”
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org