PREP SOFTBALL

Championship form

Lady Barons blank LMA 10-0, earn spot in 3A title series

BY DENNIS BRUNSON
dennis@theitem.com
Posted 5/13/18

Wilson Hall had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the second inning of its game against Laurence Manning Academy in the championship round of the lower bracket in the SCISA 3A softball state tournament with leadoff batter Madison Elmore …

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PREP SOFTBALL

Championship form

Lady Barons blank LMA 10-0, earn spot in 3A title series

Posted

Wilson Hall had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the second inning of its game against Laurence Manning Academy in the championship round of the lower bracket in the SCISA 3A softball state tournament with leadoff batter Madison Elmore at the plate.

The sophomore worked LMA starting pitcher Cakhi Fowler to a 3-2 count and then fouled off several pitches before drawing a walk. That made it 2-0 and started a 7-run inning and that was more than enough as Drake Ives tossed a no-hitter in a 10-0, 5-inning victory on Saturday at Patriot Park SportPlex in

The win moved the Lady Barons into the state championship series for the second straight year with a 24-9 overall. WH will play Cardinal Newman, a 5-4 winner over Augusta Christian School on Saturday, in the state championship series. It begins on Monday at Patriot Park with a start time of 6 p.m. The second game will be in Columbia on Tuesday. If a third game is needed, it will be played on Wednesday at a neutral site.

The Lady 'Cats saw their run as 2-time state champion come to an end, finishing the year with a 16-11-1 record.

Wilson Hall led 1-0 going to the second when Becka Noyes led off with a base hit. After Fowler struck out Madison Sliwonik, Kathryn Sistare put down a bunt and reached for a base hit. Amelia Weston drew a walk to load the bases for Elmore and her battle with Fowler.

"I was just up there trying to make something happen" Elmore said of her mindset at the plate in that at-bat. "I just wanted to do something productive that would help us have a good inning.

The walk forced in Noyes to make it 2-0. Carly Allred followed with an RBI single, and Ives came behind her with a 2-run single to make it 5-0.

Sydney Jarecki had a sacrifice fly to drive in another run before Liza Lowder and Madison Sliwonik came up with RBI singles to make it 8-0.

"Madison is all to quality (at-bats)," said Lady Barons head coach Teresa Alexander. "She has bought in and her concern is to have a quality at-bat.

"Kathryn Sistare had a big at-bat in that inning as well. She put down that bunt to make them make a play and she was able to reach. That helped set the inning up."

Laurence Manning was unable to do anything against Ives. In tossing the no-hitter, Ives struck out and walked one. Just two runners got on base - a walk to Abbie Beard and when Hannah Truett reached on a wild pitch after a strikeout.

"We just didn't swing the bats that well today," said LMA head coach Glenda Hodge, whose team beat Orangeburg Prep 9-0 earlier in the day to get to Wilson Hall. "I didn't feel like we hit the ball well in the first game and that was against a slower pitcher. The second game a lot of it had to do with Drake Ives."

"Drake Ives is just a giant," Alexander said of her senior. "She does it for us in the circle and at the plate. She's just outstanding."

Ives had an RBI single in the third to make it 9-0. Her double in the fifth moved Elmore to third, who had had led off the inning with a double. Jarecki's sac fly scored Elmore with the game-ending run.

Ives was 3-for-4 with three RBI. Elmore and Allred both had a hit scored twice and drove in a run, Noyes had two hits and Jarecki drove in two runs.

Wilson Hall and Cardinal Newman split two games in the regular season. The Lady Barons won 17-5 in Columbia in March while CN won 10-9 in Sumter on May 2.

Wilson Hall outscored its foes 43-0 in 11 innings in its three tournament games. Needless to say, Alexander would have preferred to continue playing on Saturday.

"Absolutely, that's what I would have preferred," she said. "Your goal is to be playing your best ball at the end of the year, and I feel like that's what we're doing."

Elmore said she and her teammates hope to bring home a title this week.

"This was about redemption," Elmore said of getting back to the title series. We wanted to get back here for our seniors. Now we want to win it for them."

In the win over OP, LMA's Lundee Olsen tossed a shutout. She scattered seven hits and didn't walk a batter while striking out seven.

Laurence Manning was led by Trinity Harrington at the plate. She was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Maggie Josey had a double, RandiLynn Holcombe scored twice and Olsen drove in two runs.

Hodge was in her first year as LMA head coach. She replaced Maria Rowland, who won eight state titles in 22 years as head coach.

"We struggled a little bit early," she said. "We had some younger players having to adjust, and then we had girls who had played for Coach Rowland for several years, and they were having to adjust to me.

"Our goal was to try and get better from game to game, and I feel like for the most part we did that. I think there is a bright future ahead for Laurence Manning softball."