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Battery Creek High School
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Battery Creek Advances To Lower State Final Against Hanahan With 6-1 Win Over Gilbert

By Billy G. Baker

Publisher

Beaufort—As the HSSR was going to press on April 9th the Battery Creek Lady Dolphins softball team (25-7) had just defeated Gilbert 5-1 to advance to the Class AAA Lower State finals against defending champion Hanahan on May, 11.

Power hitter Emily Crosby tied the score at one with a lined drive home run in the third inning and from that point forward Battery Creek dominated the game collecting 9 hits. Junior pitcher Alexis Ortiz was the winning pitcher scattering four hits while fanning five batters.

Olivia Gee and Ju Ju Greer each had two hits in the big win.

After the big win BC head coach Chris Carr told the HSSR, “I told the girls to enjoy this win tonight but to come to practice Thursday with this game behind them and focused on getting ready to play a very talented Hanahan team on the road,” said Coach Carr. “We know they are an outstanding team with a lot of experienced players. It is going to take our best shot to stay on the field with them.”

Prior to the game at Gilbert Coach Carr said, “We are certainly not looking ahead to Hanahan, and we know that our 6-5 back-and-forth loss at Gilbert the other day verified we are two evenly matched teams,” said first year head coach Chris Carr, who won seven sectional softball titles in upstate New York before moving down to the South Carolina coast where he enjoys teaching 6th grade math.

“Against Gilbert the other day they got up on us early 4-1, and then we came back and led 5-4 late in the game but we had an error on a ball hit down the line that costs us a run,” said Coach Carr. “Gilbert had a great home crowd and their students were making a lot of noise. I would like to think that going back there for a second game we are better prepared to handle the situation.”

Battery Creek bounced back from the loss to Gilbert by beating Aynor 2-1 at home. That win avenged two losses to the Blue Jackets a year ago that had bounced Battery Creek out of the playoffs. With the bases loaded, two out in the bottom of the 7th, and the scored tied at one, Emily Crosby drew a walk-off walk to give the Lady Dolphins a huge 2-1 win and keep their own state championship hopes alive.

Crosby, a junior third baseman, is leading the team in hitting at .554 and she has a team leading 34 RBI’s. She has seven home runs and 10 doubles to her credit.

There is no doubt that Coach Carr is among the more experienced prep softball coaches around and he has brought a lot of stability, focus, and discipline to the Battery Creek softball program this season. “The kids were excited and I was excited with the Aynor win but after the game I told the team that our mission was not over yet, that we were working towards a bigger prize of a state championship,” said Coach Carr. “We have been very business like in our march through the playoffs, We could win or lose at Gilbert, but regardless they will get our best shot.”

The team’s two senior starters are Ju Ju Greer and Michaux Greer. “Ju Ju has been a great hitter in the play-offs going four- for- four against Swansea in the district championship game and she had the bunt of the season against Aynor with two strikes on her that moved a runner forward,” said Coach Carr. Ju Ju is batting .353 with 23 RBI’s with four triples and one home run.

“Michaux has stepped up and been our table setter for the offense and she led us off with a single in the bottom of the 7th against Aynor to get us started. “She has had a lot of two-out base hits to help keep our drives going.” She is batting .397 with 16 RBI’s including seven doubles.

Battery Creek starts five juniors and one of them is pitcher Alexis Ortiz, a Coker College commitment. Ortiz has been having an outstanding season in the circle. “Alexis is improving all the time and she is learning to spot and locate her pitches very well and she works hard at not putting the ball straight down the center of the plate,” said Coach Carr. “She has made some great pitches in the playoffs.”

To date, Ortiz is 16-5 with a 1.27 ERA. She has fanned 167 batters in 121 innings of work. At the plate she is hitting .400 with 30 RBI’s.

Without question Journeigh Doray is one of the most complete sophomore shortstops in South Carolina. She came into the Gilbert game batting .500 with 31 RBI’s including four triples and a home run. She has made only three errors all season.

Other starters batting .300 or better include Kelsey Hill batting .451 with 28 RBI’s. Margaret Schubert is hitting .370 with 19 RBI’s and Olivia Gee is batting .291 with 9 RBI’s. The team batting average is .394 and the team has hit 23 home runs.

Win or lose against Gilbert, Coach Carr knows he is laying a solid foundation for the Battery Creek program. “I have been stressing doing the little things right since our first practice of the season,” said Coach Carr. “We stress things like getting our bunts down properly and staying true to the game plan.

“Executing a game plan is very important,” he said. “We strive to put pressure on defenses both at the plate and in the field.

“If we are fortunate enough to get past Gilbert, Hanahan is where we want to be on Friday. We want to win championships at Battery Creek.

“We have talked about a state title run,” said Coach Carr. “I am a believer in a team having high goals and high expectations. If you can’t dream it you certainly can’t achieve it. We know at this point we have to take it one game at a time and we cannot even think about Hanahan with Gilbert our biggest challenge right now.”

With seven starters back next season, and teams like Hanahan graduating a lot of senior leadership, don’t be surprised if an up and coming team like Battery Creek comes into the 2019 season ranked number one in AAA. It could happen.

 

 

 

 

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