Lady Warriors advance to championship game
By Chris Sokoloski
Waccamaw High’s softball team has been resting since Saturday afternoon, waiting to see whether they’ll face Andrews or Loris in the District VII-AA championship game.
The Lady Yellow Jackets and Lady Lions were scheduled to play Monday night but got rained out. The game was rescheduled to last night.
Whichever team comes to Pawleys Island will have to beat Waccamaw twice to claim the championship. Waccamaw will only have to win one game.
The Lady Warriors have only lost one game at home all season.
Waccamaw earned a spot in the district championship game with an 11-0 win over Andrews.
“The first inning we had the bases loaded and we didn’t score a run,” Yellow Jackets coach Steve Blanchard said. “If we’d have scored a run or two there we might have had some momentum.”
The Lady Warriors scored nine of their runs on seven hits in the third inning, capitalizing on two errors and two hit batters. Melaina Moore had three RBIs in the inning. Hallie Butler and Sam Leonard also had RBIs.
“We got a couple people on base and got a couple of hits and they got frustrated a bit in that one inning and that was really the difference,” Waccamaw coach Scott Streiffert said.
Sam Tansy drove in Moore in the second and fifth innings for two RBIs.
McKenzie Lugin scattered five hits and struck out three for her 12th win.
“They did a good job of defending us where we hit the ball,” Blanchard said.
“This has always been a difficult place for us to play,” Streiffert said. “They had a big crowd here and it was a great softball atmosphere. For this just being a district playoff game, I really felt that the intensity level was up a notch, on both sides at the beginning.”
Waccamaw opened the playoffs with an 11-1 win over Lake City.
The Lady Warriors ended the game early with a five-run burst in the sixth inning.
“We came out a little flat and I was worried about that because we lost a very emotional game to Dillon and we had a lot of people hurt,” Streiffert said.
Emily Heimberger went 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI; Olivia Dunlap went 2-for-3 with two, runs and two RBIs; Riley Morris went 2-for-4 with two triples and three RBIs; and Lugin went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs.
Butler got her 12th win of the season.
Waccamaw’s 24 wins this season are the fourth most in program history. One more win would tie this year’s squad with the 2007 team.
The 2010 state champions won 34 games; the 2009 Lower State champions won 30.
“I’m really excited for our kids,” Streiffert said. “We’ve had a really good year. We’ve just got to take it one at a time. … It’s going to continue to get tougher and continue to be more intense.”
Andrews opened the playoffs with an 8-0 win over Loris.
Allie Rogers went 4-for-4; Logan Cannon went 2-for-4; and Brooks Cribb went 2-for-4.
Rogers got the win.
“We came out strong and pitched good and played great defense and hustled and struck the ball well,” Blanchard said. “A good team win. Everybody doing their jobs, doing what they’re supposed to do. Playing together.”
Andrews is 21-4.
“When you win 21 games they’ve done a lot of good things during the year, a lot of great things,” Blanchard said.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the playoffs with a 4-2 win over Marlboro County.
Megan Strickland went 3-for-4 with an RBI; Taylor Graham went 2-for-4 with an RBI; Blakely Graham went 2-for-3; and Kelly Howard went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Taylor Mercer got her 10th win of the season.
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