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Andrews High School

 Andrews softball staying alive in Lower State playoffs

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

Andrews—While most softball teams have packed up their equipment for the offseason, the Andrews Yellow Jackets are still fighting for a championship.

After going 11-1 in conference play and winning the Region 7-AA title, Andrews rolled to a district crown and advanced to the Lower State final four. There, they split a pair of games with Latta and Batesburg-Leesville, and now must travel to Barnwell with a berth in the state semifinals on the line.

“It has been one of the best seasons yet. This is our third season as coaches and we’ve had three years to work with these girls,” head coach Mary Ellen Morris said. “Overall from top to bottom, I feel like we have all the components. We have pitching, we are defensively sound, and hitting – there is not a hole in our lineup. We have some depth with our bench players, which is really nice. That’s had a lot to do with our success this year.”

Sophomore pitcher Carli McCants has been a big part of the 18-3 record, throwing nearly 120 innings while posting a 0.76 earned run average with 194 strikeouts. At the plate, she’s hitting .348 with a home run and 21 runs batted in.

Shortstop Brooklynn Brewington leads the team with a .486 average with a pair of home runs and 36 runs scored. Catcher Camie Samson has been a force in the middle of the lineup with a .386 average, nine doubles, six triples, two home runs, 27 runs scored and 31 RBI.

Other players having big years include centerfielder Carlynn Harper (.429, 18 RBI), second baseman Faith Callaway (.381, HR, 21 RBI) and senior first baseman Elise Bruce (.361, eight doubles). Bruce will play for Lincoln Memorial University next season.

“She’s definitely put in her time throughout her four years being here,” Morris said of Bruce. “She’s the type of player who comes early before practice to get extra reps in. She plays year-round and it shows in all that she does. That’s going to be a big hole to fill.”

The only other senior that will move on after graduation is utility player Chandler Nesmith, who just came back after missing most of the season with a broken hand.

“We’ve played her at several positions and no matter where she’s working or what she’s doing, she’s trying to get better. Unfortunately, she hasn’t had the season she wanted to because of the injury, but she has handled it with such grace,” Morris said.

Ashley Evans, Logan Owens, Abagail Morris and Morgan Grant are other varsity players that will be back in 2018.

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