Georgia Burford slides into home during the Copperheads game against North Augusta Wednesday to open their series.

It wasn’t the blow out they have been used to, but the Catawba Ridge softball team was able to hold off a rally from the North Augusta Yellow Jackets for a 9-8 win in game one of the 4A Upper State series Wednesday.  

Catawba Ridge scored nine runs in the bottom of the first as they would go up 9-0, but the lead wasn’t as comfortable as it seemed.

The Copperheads wouldn’t get another hit in the game as North Augusta scored eight runs on 10 hits over the next six innings. The win improved Catawba Ridge to 23-3 overall on the season.

“We stalled a little bit,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Michael Kidd. “We hit the ball when we needed to hit the ball. We came out with the win and learned something along the way. Defensively, we played okay. We learned a lot.”

Pitcher Chloe Burger started off strong despite giving up a walk and a hit in the first inning. The hit she allowed in the inning came back and hit her throwing hand. Burger seemed to shake it off and get out of the inning, but struggled as the game went on.

All of the offense for the Copperheads came in the bottom of the first as they scored nine runs on nine hits. Audrey Wilson got things started with an RBI double to score Jaidyn Harris, who walked to open the bottom half of the inning.

Sarah Rocheleau then hit a bases clearing triple to score Wilson; as Kendra Murray, Braylon Lawrence, Georgia Burford and Jenna Gardner all would single to follow. Murray would drive in a run and Gardner would drive in two.

Catawba Ridge batted around allowing Harris to single, followed by another RBI hit from Rocheleau and Murray. Both Rocheleau and Murray had two hits and drove in two runs each. Burford would also drive in two runs for Catawba Ridge.

After the first inning outburst, the Copperheads wouldn’t get another hit and only got two more base runners, both of which reached on errors in the third inning. North Augusta made six errors in the game.

North Augusta started their rally in the third inning by scoring two runs on two hits. They would then add hits in the fourth and fifth innings without scoring a run, but come the sixth inning the Jackets’ bats would find a groove.

North Augusta scored six runs on five hits which included a two-run double and a two-run home run in the inning. Burger was able to get out of the inning without allowing the tying run.

In the seventh inning, Burger was able to come back and retire the side in order without allowing a baserunner to secure the win. Burger allowed eight runs on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out seven. She also collected her 200th strikeout on the season for the Copperheads in the game.

Kidd is confident Burger will bounce back in game two, which is scheduled for Friday, May 19 at Riverview Park in North Augusta.

“Chloe will have a better game in game two,” he said.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Chloe Burger throws a pitch during the Copperheads game Wednesday.