Catawba Ridge’s Braylon Lawrence lays down a bunt during the game against Midland Valley Saturday.

The Catawba Ridge softball team punched their ticket to the 4A Upper State series eliminating the Midland Valley Mustangs Saturday.

The Copperheads cruised after one bad inning to beat Midland Valley 12-3.

Catawba Ridge came out strong both on offense and defense. Offensively, the Copperheads scored three runs in the first inning off three hits powered by a two-run triple from Audrey Wilson. Sarah Rocheleau then sacrificed in Wilson for the early Catawba Ridge lead.

Defensively, the Copperheads cruised through the first two innings as starter Chloe Burger didn’t allow a base runner. Then in the third inning, a lead-off walk by Midland Valley and a single scored a run breaking Catawba Ridge’s six game shutout streak.

A Copperhead error with bases loaded off a hard hit ball up the middle then to two runs tying the game. Burger was able to get out of the inning without any more issues shortly thereafter.

“We knew we could hit the ball to win the game,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Michael Kidd. “We kind of kicked the ball around some. They didn’t panic. They are battle tested.”

Catawba Ridge seemed unfazed by the rally. In the bottom of the inning, the Copperheads added a run on three hits as Rocheleau doubled and Kendra Murray drove her in on a single to give Catawba Ridge the lead again. The double for Rocheleau was her 100th career hit at the varsity level.

The Copperheads started pushing the pace in the bottom of the fourth. Aloni Hogan reached on the error and Jaidyn Harris was hit by a pitch. Braylon Lawrence singled setting up a second bases clearing hit by Wilson with an inside the park home run.

Catawba Ridge kept their foot on the gas in the fifth. Hogan reached on a Mustangs error. Harris walked and Rocheleau drove in two giving the Copperheads a 10-3 lead.

The sixth inning was just as productive for Catawba Ridge as Harris hit a triple scoring both Krysten Reynolds and Hogan.

After the hiccup in the third inning, Burger fought back and allowed just one more hit in the game. She pitched a complete game allowing three runs in three hits, while walking two and striking out seven.

At the plate, the Copperheads had 14 hits. Murray quietly led going 3-4 as Rocheleau, Lawrence, and Wilson each had two hits. Wilson also had six RBIs.

Catawba Ridge improved to 25-2 on the season and will face the winner of York and North Augusta, who still must play Monday and possibly Tuesday. If York beats them in the game Monday, they will advance to the Upper State finals. If North Augusta wins, a second game is scheduled for Tuesday.

Game one in the best of three Upper State series is an away game for Catawba Ridge with game two being at home. If a third game is needed it will be at a neutral site.

May 11 Roundup

The Catawba Ridge baseball team fell 5-1 to Laurens on the road to end their season. The Copperheads struggled getting just two hits in the game, one of which was a solo home run by Aiden Cattarin in the third inning. The Copperheads did make two errors, each of which led to runs. Caden Glauber got the start for Catawba Ridge and went three innings allowing four runs on five hits, while walking three and striking out seven. Bryce Meil went three innings as well and allowed one run on one hit while striking out two. The Copperheads finished the season at 25-5 overall.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Catawba Ridge’s Chloe Burger throws a pitch during the Copperheads game Saturday against Midland Valley.