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Batesburg-Leesville High School

By: Jay Hendrix

 

The 2019 softball and baseball seasons are underway and both teams have high hopes for the season. Close games have proven to be a challenge for both teams early as five of the teams’ seven total loses have been by one run. Conversely the baseball team has won two one run games while the softball team has just one single run victory.

 

The varsity baseball team opened the season with a 3-1 showing in the Comporium Invitational Tournament with wins over Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Grey Collegiate and Wagener-Salley. After defeating Newberry to improve to 4-1 the Panthers have struggled as they lost twice to Aiken and Abbeville while defeating Silver Bluff to now stand at 5-5 overall and 1-2 in Region 2-AA play.

 

The Panthers have missed the big bat of Brett McEwen who was being looked to as a senior leader in the infield but has missed the season so far with a broken bone in his wrist. Head Coach Rob Bouknight, now in his seventh season at B-L, discussed the challenges of Region 2-AA. Bouknight stated “we are moving back to the toughest region in Class AA. If you pay attention to the rankings we have three teams in the top ten in Abbeville, Ninety Six and Saluda.” The Panthers have feasted on pitching in their wins as they scored 42 runs in the five wins but have struggled against better competition as they have managed just 13 runs in the five losses, three of which were one run losses.

 

Senior outfielder and pitcher Chase Rikard leads the Panthers with a .441 batting average and 11 RBI with catcher Hunter Eargle hitting at a .321 clip with four RBI. Newberry College signee Payton Dawkins and Reid Watson are both batting .267 through the first ten games of the season. Dawkins is second on the team with eight RBI. On the mound Dawkins and Rikard are both 2-1 with Dawkins boasting a 1.95 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings. Rikard has a 2.14 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. Kolby Craps is 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA as the number three starter.

 

In softball the Panthers improved to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in Region 2-AA this week with a win over Strom Thurmond, their second over the Rebels this season. The Panthers also have wins over Fox Creek, Abbeville and Pelion while dropping one run decisions to Ninety Six and Silver Bluff. The Panthers’ loses were on the extreme different ends of the spectrums. Last Friday the Panthers lost a nail biter 2-1 at home to Silver Bluff in a well-played game with eight hits and no errors as both pitchers control the action. Then the Panthers went on the road to Ninety Six on the following Monday and lost 18-17 in a game with 21 total hits, 22 walks and nine errors.

 

The Panthers have been led by centerfielder Kiara Quattlebaum at the plate with a .500 batting average and two home runs and eight RBI. Ryanne Yarborough, the Panther catcher, also is hitting .500 with seven RBI. Senior rightfielder Caroline Bedenbaugh is batting .438 while shortstop Amie Johnson is batting .389 with a team high 10 runs scored. Columbia College signee Gracie Louk, the Panthers’ first baseman, is hitting .385 while senior leftfielder Taleah Tolen is batting .316 with a home run.

 

Jaylah Barr has been the Panthers ace in the circle as she has done all the pitching while compiling an ERA of 2.95 with 38 strikeouts in the first six games.

 

 

B-L Stats

Baseball

Batting Average

.441 Chase Rikard

.321 Hunter Eargle

 

RBI

11 Chase Rikard

8 Payton Dawkins

 

Runs

10 Kolby Craps

10 Reid Watson

 

ERA

0.78 Cale Salter (9 innings)

1.95 Payton Dawkins (14.1 innings)

2.14 Chase Rikard (16.1 innings)

2.28 Kolby Craps (15.1 innings)

 

Strikeouts

18 Chase Rikard

15 Kolby Craps

14 Payton Dawkins

13 Cale Salter

 

Softball

Batting Average

.500 Kiara Quattlebaum

.500 Ryanne Yarborough

.438 Caroine Bedenbaugh

.389 Amie Johnson

.385 Gracie Louk

.316 Taleah Tolen

 

Home Runs

2 Kiara Quattlebaum

1 Jaylah Barr

1 Taleah Tolen

 

RBI

8 Kiara Quattlebaum

7 Jaylah Barr

7 Ryanne Yarborough

7 Taleah Tolen

6 Gracie Louk

 

Pitching

Jaylah Barr 4 Wins 2.95 ERA 38 Strikeouts


 

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