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Andrews one win away from Class AA softball title after 2-1 victory over Landrum

ANDREWS—To win a championship, sometimes you need a little luck or divine intervention.  For the Andrews softball team, something has been on their side throughout this recent playoff run.

The Yellow Jackets scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth inning and walked off in game one of the best-of-three Class AA softball finals, 2-1, over Upper state champion Landrum.  Game two is scheduled for Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at Landrum.

“There’s definitely been luck.  I think God’s been on our side a little bit, and I just think that what’s happening is supposed to be happening.  It’s pretty cool,” said Andrews head coach Mary Ellen Morris.

Tied at 1-1 with one out in the bottom of the eighth, Andrews catcher Camie Samson smashed a sinking line drive single to left field.  Outfielder Alexus Atkins charged in, but the ball went under her glove and rolled to the fence, allowing Samson to come all the way around and score the winning run.

“When you’re going through district and Upper state, if you lose the first one, you’ve got to win a doubleheader on the road somewhere,” said Landrum head coach Casey Green.  “That’s not the case here.  It’s the best two-out-of-three…(Andrews) didn’t see the Landrum ball team that we are, so that’s promising to me.  We’ve got a lot to show them on Wednesday.”

Both teams had opportunities to get on the scoreboard early, but neither could break through.  Brooklynn Brewington led off the bottom of the first for the Yellow Jackets with a bunt single and Faith Callaway walked before Samson sacrificed both runners up one base.

Carlynn Harper followed with a fly ball to shallow right field that Brewington tried to tag and score on, but Emily Carter hauled in the catch and threw out the Andrews runner in plenty of time at the plate for the double play.

Landrum was poised to grab the momentum in its ensuing at-bat, as Ellen Boatwright started the inning with a double.  But Andrews pitcher Carli McCants worked out of the jam.  She struck out Carter, induced a pop up on a bunt attempt by McKenzie Suddeth, and picked up another strikeout on Alyssa Davis.

“We had opportunities but couldn’t finish it.  That’s what we’ve got to work on, doing what we’ve got to do to manufacture more than one run,” Green said.

The Yellow Jackets had a runner reach third base in four of the first five innings, but mustered just a lone run in the bottom of the fourth.  With two outs and one on, McCants drilled a double to the wall in left center, scoring Ashley Evans from first base.

“You can look in her eyes whenever she’s on the mound and whenever she steps into the batter’s box.  She is determined that she has a job and she’s going to get it done,” Morris said of McCants.

The Cardinals were also the beneficiary of a misplayed ball in the outfield, allowing them to tie the game in the top of the sixth inning. 

With two outs and a runner on first, Caitlyn Cox hit a bloop single to right field.  Outfielder Taylor Lambert raced in, but was unable to catch the ball.  Her momentum carried her past the ball, and instead of Landrum having runners on the corners, Michelle Suddeth rounded third and scored to even the game at 1-1.

Each team had five hits on the night, with Brewington the only player on either side with two knocks.  McCants went eight innings, walked one and struck out 11.  Cox pitched 7.1 innings for Landrum, giving up two walks while recording three punchouts.

Andrews is now one victory away from its first state championship since 1998.  However, Morris doesn’t expect anything to change with her team, regardless of the situation.

“We’ve been talking a lot about focus, and it’s just another game,” Morris said.  The opponent wakes up the same way we do.  They put their shoes on the same way we do.  The ball is the same and the game doesn’t change.  There’s just a lot more fans and a lot more crazy things happening with the fans.  We have really talked a lot about focus and being mentally tough, and they’ve improved with that every single game since we’ve been advancing in the playoffs.”

 

SCORING SUMMARY

Landrum               000   001   00—1  5  2

Andrews                000   100   01—2  5  1


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