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Drama, Tension Dominates Hartsville’s Thrilling Extra Inning 6-5 Win Over Palmetto In AAAA Softball Championship Series

Drama, Tension Dominates Hartsville’s Thrilling Extra Inning 6-5 Win Over Palmetto In AAAA Softball Championship Series

By Savanna Morris

Special Writer

Hartsville—If the rest of the AAAA softball championship series between Hartsville and Palmetto goes like the first game extra innings 6-5 Red Fox win Monday night, fans of both teams are in for their money’s worth based on the rowdy tensions that filled Phyllis C. Griggs Park Monday night during the ebbs and flows of a game with the state title on the line.

Hartsville will now travel to Palmetto on Wednesday May 15th to play the second game in The State Championship series.

When the moment came for Kaitlyn Yarborough she took control of that moment and had a big night offensively to help the Red Foxes earn the big win. “Kaitlyn Yarborough was on fire tonight” said Red Fox head coach Tommy Garrison.

Hartsville grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Yarborough got the runs started early for the Foxes when she hit an RBI double in the first inning to bring in Te’Asia McPhail. Emily Woodham then had an RBI that brought in Yarborough giving Hartsville the early lead.

Later in the third inning Yarborough had another RBI double to bring in left fielder Abi Stokes to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Lady Foxes held the lead until The Mustangs breakthrough in the fifth inning with three runs to tie the score. The pressure was put on the Foxes with the game now tied.

“We live and die by hits at the plate,” said head Palmetto head coach Bryan Davis. “I’m not going to change just because of what’s going on in the game, I’m going to believe in my girls and just play the game.”

Tori Cooley started the big rally in the third inning for the Mustangs with an RBI triple to bring in Claire Ellison who had a single and Addi English who was walked. Savannah Fields followed with an RBI double to then bring in Cooley for the Mustangs third run.

“They hit well. They are a good hitting ball team. We had to play a lot of balls out there tonight” said Coach Garrison.

With the international tie-breaker rules in effect each team started the 9th and 10th innings with a runner on second base and each team scored one run each in the 9th inning after a scoreless 8th inning. Palmetto went up 4-3 in the 9th when Kathryn Drake doubled in Elyse Browning who was placed on second to start the inning.

Hartsville came back and tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the 9th when Jessica McWhorter was put on second to begin the inning and she came home on a single by McKinney Bizzele Palmetto scored a run in the 10th inning to go up 5-4 when Addi English was placed on second and scored on a Tori Cooley RBI. The tension in Red Fox fans had now reached a feverish pitch down by one..

With their backs against the wall Kaitlyn Yarborough came through with another big hit for the Red Foxes. Her big hit brought in Abi Stokes who was placed on second to start the inning and Te’Asia McPhail singled to advance Stokes to third base. Yarborough then hit a ball over the pitcher’s head to the outfield scoring both runs for the big 6-5 win.  

One thing Coach Garrison says his team must work on before the second game against Palmetto is their defense. “We played a little sloppy in the outfield tonight,” he said. “We have to get a little bit better.”

For the sixth consecutive year The Red Foxes are playing for the state championship.

“They’re a great team. When you go to the State six years in a row, you’re just mentally prepared to play your best game” says Coach Davis.

The Red Foxes pounded out 13 hits in the contest led by Yarborough who had three hits and four RBI’s. McPahil had three hits and Blaze McArthur, Brittney Cothran, and Bizzell each had two hits.

Palmetto was le din hitting by Browning with two hits. Faith Bowen worked 9 innings in the circle for the Mustangs giving up five earned runs and striking out two. Alyssa Poston pitched all 10 innings for the Red Foxes giving up 7 hits and striking out five batters, Olivia Martin is a courtesy runner runner for the team and she did not pitch in the game as previously reported.     

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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