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Battery Creek High School
Beaufort

Core Group Of Next Level Softball Talent Returns To Battery Creek For Next Season

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Beaufort—It was an interesting softball season at Battery Creek (15-5, 9-2) as the Lady Dolphins won their district, and if a call or two had gone their way late in the AAA playoffs they could have advanced even further.

Jessica Young began her first season head coaching the team in early March but due to personal issues she left the program in early April when assistant coach Kendra Nance took over. The Dolphins are comprised of a majority of year round committed players so success was forecast early on.

The HSSR attended their hard fought 10-8 loss at Aynor on April, 29 in the final four lower state play-offs. To make a point about close plays consider this situation in that game. With the score tied in the bottom of the 6th Aynor has a runner on third with two out. A routine ground ball is hit to second and the fielder makes a clean catch and throws to first. The call could have gone either way, but by being called safe the Aynor runner from third scored and the Blue Jackets now led 9-8. How might the season have changed for Battery Creek had the runner been called out on this true 50/50 play?

That game had a combined 10 errors and 19 runners left on base making for a see-saw game in Aynor’s come-from-behind win.

Coach Nance said after this evenly matched game, “We just need to keep our heads up and get ready to host Swansea Monday,” said Coach Nance. “This was a hard fought game and errors got us but our girls gave us all they had and we look forward to Monday.

“We put down a lot of bunts today and we have been working hard on that aspect of our game,” said Coach Nance. “If we can get by Swansea we will have a challenge to come back here Wednesday and win two but it is something that we capable of doing as this game showed today. We are still focused on all of our goals for sure.”

Coach Nance said that the game involved and above average amount of 50/50 type close plays and she was a disappointed that in her mind not one close play went Battery Creek’s way during the game.

Coach Nance said she has believed in her team since the first day of practice. “Our motto is one game at the time and state bound,” she said. “Since our first day of practice I have believed in this team and we are not done yet.”

Battery Creek pushed across two runs in the top of the first as McKenzie Young singled and advanced as Michaux Gee reached on an error. Two batters later Journeigh Doray doubled both runners in to give the Dolphins a 2-0 lead.

In the third Battery Creek went up 3-1 as Emily Crosby hit a power alley double and later scored on an error on a miss-handled pop-up.

BC pushed across a run in the 5th on a single by Doray who advanced to third on a single by Margaret Schumbert. A SAC fly by Ortiz scored Doray to cut the lead to 8-5.

In the top of the 6th Battery Creek sent 9 batters to the plate in their own uprising that produced five runs to tie the score at 8. Julianna Greer and Young led off with back-to-back bunts and a wild pitch by relief pitcher Layna Johnson advanced the runners to second and third with no one out. Michaux Gee then singled in both runs to make it 8-5.

On May, 1 BC defeated Swansea 6-0 to stay alive in the play-offs. They returned to Aynor on May, 3 and playing our of the losers bracket had to defeat Aynor twice to advance. In the first game talented pitcher Alexis Ortiz was masterful limiting the usuallly potnet Aynor batters to just three hits while the Dolphins managed 10 hits. The top hitters in the game were Emily Crosby who had three singles and Michaux Gee and Kelsey Hill had two hits each.

In game two Battery Creek had a poor hitting game and their season of promise ended in a 5-0 loss on the road.

 With the program having three head coaches in two seasons perhaps next year can deliver even better results. A look at the final season stats suggests the potential for great success next season for a team that returend five all-region players from the 2016 season that produced a 24-4 record. Next year risng junior Alexis Ortiz will return in the circle after going 6-2 this year and being sidleined for some of the season with a back injury. She had 75 strike-outs in 46 innings of work with an ERA of 1.07.

Also rising junior Emily Crosby will be back after leading the team with a .533 average including 28 RBI’s and three home runs. Rising sophomore Journeigh Doray, just completed her third season on the varsity and she is one of the best shortstop prospects in South Carolina at her grade level. Doray batted.439 with 26 RBI’s with home runs. Rising senior Michaux Gee batted .456 with 17 RBI’s. Rising junior outfielder McKenzie Young will be back after hititng .396 with 10 RBI’s and rising sophomore Isabella Greer batted .519 with 14 RBI’s palying in just 13 games.

The team had only two seniors. Kyleigh Peeples who did an outstanding job filling in for Ortiz in the circle when she was out, finishing with a record of 6-2 with 30 K’s. Peeples also batted .333 with 9 RBI’s. Catcher Jessica Shipley has committed to USC Salkehatchie and she batted .319 with 15 RBI’s. Rising junior Kelsey Hill batted .415 with 15 RBI’s.

The team had an impressive .398 batting average and six different pithcers combined for a team ERA of 2.92. If this team can stay together they have every opportunity to compete for a state next season.

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