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Hanahan outlasts Crescent in 12 innings to claim AAA softball title

COLUMBIA Kendall Grubbs’s run-scoring shot to the gap capped a two-run 12th inning comeback to send Hanahan to an 8-7 win over Crescent in third game of the Class AAA championship series.

Hanahan (30-4) won the last two games of the series after losing the opener, 2-0. The Hawkettes win their first title since beating Crescent in the 2008 Class AA championship series.

Sophomore catcher Jordan Fabian had three doubles in the win while third baseman Emily Elmore had three runs batted in for Hanahan.

Crescent out-hit Hanahan, 14-8, but came up with the biggest hits when down on the scoreboard.

“It was the most unbelievable state final game I have ever seen or been a part of,” Hanahan coach Katrina Moffett said. “We got down, I think five different times in that game. But this team has so much heart and determination. We never gave up. These girls have so much fight in them. They just don’t believe they can lose. They don’t let adversity bother them.”

Crescent opened the game with two runs in the top of the first, using three hits and an error to take early control.

The Tigers added a run in the second as Ellis Garron belted an RBI double to score Ashley Parnell. Crescent had four hits in the inning but had two mistakes on the bases to eliminate any potential for a big inning.

Hanahan, who hit two long fly balls for outs in the first inning off Kayla Pepper, found the grass in the second inning. After a one-out walk, Hannah Robinson belted a triple to right center for Hanahan’s first run. Elmore followed with a double, also to right center, to make the score 3-2.

Crescent coach Gary Adams, who was denied his 20th state title, praised the effort of Pepper in the circle.

“She’s been out there for seven games over the last two weeks and all three games this week,” said Adams, the state’s winningest coach with more than 1,000 wins. “I could not have asked for any more than I got. She gave us all she had and it was a great effort.”

Hanahan started junior Drayton Siegling in the circle but senior McKenzie Dyson replaced her in the third inning. Dyson went 10 innings to earn the win after a complete game seven-inning effort on Wednesday night to stave off elimination.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this,” Dyson said. “At the end, my ball wasn’t moving as much but I knew I had the defense behind me. We didn’t give up one time. We never thought we were out of it. We got the ring tonight.”

Hanahan tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on Fabian’s two-out double to left center to score Shelley.

Ashley Meckley reached on a single just inside the right field line with one out in the bottom of the seventh but was doubled off when Parnell fielded a line drive off the bat of Shelley and flipped to first for the twin killing.

After a scoreless eighth, and the international tie-breaker in effect, Parnell delivered a two-out double just inside the left field line to score Faith Therrell. Hanahan answered in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at four on Elmore’s sacrifice fly to score Ashlyn Cribb.

Crescent scored twice in the 11th but Hanahan answered with two runs, scoring on an error and Elmore’s single to tie the game.

Crescent took a 7-6 lead in the top of the 12th on Savannah Chambers’ RBI double, scoring Davis with what looked to be the winning run before Hanahan’s final effort. Grubbs’ hit came just after Fabian’s double and Rachel Shelley’s RBI single to spark the rally.

“It was an incredible game and you have to tip your hat to Hanahan,” Adams said. “We had our chances. We had the lead several times and they just kept coming back. It’s disappointing to see it end this way but it was an amazing game. I don’t know if I have ever been a part of a game like this.”

The two teams have now met five times in the finals with Crescent holding a 3-2 edge in titles.

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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