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Hanahan forces game three to decide AAA softball title

Hanahan held off two late game charges to defeat Crescent, 2-1, in game two of the Class AAA state championship series on Wednesday night.

The win forces a deciding game three of the series, set for Friday night at USC at 6 p.m. Hanahan is 29-4 on the season while Crescent enters the final game at 31-4.

Senior pitcher MacKenzie Dyson went the distance in the circle for Hanahan, allowing an unearned run on eight hits. She pitched out of bases loaded jams in both the sixth and seventh innings, getting a strikeout to end the game.

 “It’s been a tough season with the injury and the flu but I have awesome teammates who are there for me all the way,” Dyson said. “Tonight, I had their back and they had mine.”

Crescent (31-4) took a 1-0 lead in the third. Jolie Kelley opened the inning with a walk. A one-put sacrifice bunt by Kinsley Norris moved Kelley to third and Katie Young’s single sent Kelley to third. An error at short on Ashley Parnell’s grounder scored Kelley from third.

Hanahan answered with the tying run in the bottom of the third, getting a one-out single by Jordan Fabian to score Lauren Anderson, who opened the inning with a single and advanced on a throw to first from right field.

The Hawkettes grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fifth. After Ashley Meckley’s triple to open the inning, Rachel Shelley delivered the eventual game-winner with a sacrifice fly to right.

In the top of the sixth, Crescent got consecutive singles from Ellison Garron and Ryleigh Davis to start the inning. The next two batters popped up bunts for outs and the Tigers ended up leaving the bases loaded.

Crescent loaded the bases again in the top of the seventh, opening the inning with singles by Norris and Young. After two outs, Davis reached on an infield single to load the bases. Dyson ended the threat, and the game, by retiring Savannah Chambers with a strikeout.

“The last pitch, I didn’t think about anything. I just threw the ball up there,” Dyson said. “To win this game, we have worked so hard and I think we’re ready to win Friday.”

Crescent head coach Gary Adams, the state’s all-time winningest coach with more than 1,000 victories, is seeking his 20th state championship. This is Crescent’s 28th time in the finals. Hanahan and Crescent are playing in the championship series for the fifth time with Crescent winning three titles. Hanahan beat Crescent for the AA title in 2008.

“We have to execute better than we did tonight to have a chance to win Friday,” Adams said. “It’s two good teams out there. It will be a battle.”

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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