Green Wave still fighting for first state softball title
The Green Wave softball team will have to do it the hard way, but is still alive in the chase for the Class AAAA state championship.
Boiling Springs (31-1) handed the Green Wave (23-8) a 4-3 loss Monday in the opening game of the best-of-three state championship series but never seized complete control of the game, which is what many may have expected from the top-ranked team in the state.
“Our kids played well tonight,” Summerville coach Heather Tucker said. “Boiling Springs is a really good hitting team but we made a lot of good defensive plays. I feel offensively a few shots fell for them that didn’t fall for us so we just need to tweak our offense a little and I think we still have a shot at it.”
Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday evening at Boiling Springs. Tucker isn’t looking forward to the trip, but is looking forward to a shot at redemption.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall in the playoffs before and been able to come across on the other side so we have a lot of belief in our kids,” she said. “We will just go grind it out up there and do our best.”
Still the edge, for now, belongs to the Bulldogs.
“When you are playing for the state championship you expect both teams to play well,” Boiling Springs coach Sandy Martin said. “Summerville is a good team and they kept hitting the ball, but we stepped up and played on both sides of the ball.”
Boiling Springs tallied nine hits to Summerville’s seven and pitcher Taylor Cabe struck out nine Wave batters while walking only one.
Bailie Maybry, Katie Jacoby and Webber Roberts had two hits each for the Bulldogs. Maybry and Jacoby also had an RBI each while Roberts scored one of the runs.
Sarah Windham and Dani Halajcsik had two hits each for the Wave. Halajcsik drove in a run and scored another.
Bulldogs’ leadoff hitter Camry Taylor sent the third pitch of the game way over the leftfield fence for a solo home run.
Summerville answered in the second inning. Halajcsik singled, moved over on a ground out by Taylor Knight and scored on a single by Hannah Horton to tie the game.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the third after Myranda Dills doubled and came home on a shallow single to right field.
In the bottom of the frame, Summerville took the lead back. Taylor Powell hit a single and then reached second on a fielding error. She moved to third when pitcher Taylor Wuerfel grounded out and scored when catcher Taylor Belfiore reached on an error. That brought Halajcsik to the plate and she reached when she hit a line drive into Cabe’s chest. Summer Jenkins, who received a base on balls, scored on the play.
But Summerville couldn’t muster any more runs.
Boiling Springs closed out the scoring in the fourth when it sent two runs across. Cabe singled to plate Jacoby and Webber Roberts singled to drive in courtesy runner Moriah Gomez.
Summerville advanced to the series by handing Bluffton (21-7) a 4-2 loss Friday in the Lower State championship game.
“We started off this season well but then we had a little rough patch so I’m just proud of the way our kids kind of turned things around and of the way they have played in the playoffs,” Tucker said.
Wuerfel struck out nine batters while walking only one in a complete-game effort in the circle to help the Wave advance. Belfiore was 2 for 3 at the plate and Windham reached base in all three of her turns at bat, including once on a single.
Summerville’s big inning was the third.
Windham reached on an error and moved over on a bunt single by Taylor Powell. Wuerfel reached on another error to load the bases and after a strikeout Belfiore doubled to center field to drive in three runs.
In the bottom of the fifth, Belfiore singled to plate Windham for a 4-0 Green Wave lead.
Bluffton did have scoring opportunities in the game, but didn’t capitalize until the seventh. Pitcher Courtney Smith led off the inning with a single. Jordyn Parker had an infield single for runners on the corners and then Morganne Parker doubled to plate courtesy runner Olivia Beine.
That brought Mikyla Houghian to the plate and she singled. Parker rounded third and the Summerville left fielder threw the ball in to Wuerfel who opted not to throw home but go after the runner on her way to third. Parker scored but after a short rundown Wuerfel threw to third baseman Hannah Horton and she tagged the runner for the final out of the game.
This year marks only the second time in Green Wave softball history that Summerville has claimed a Lower State title. The other time was in 2010 when the Green Wave lost to Mauldin in the state championship series.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org