Catawba Ridge’s Janelle Ilacqua throws over to first during the Copperheads game against Easley Monday. Photos by Rob Upton

One inning of Catawba Ridge softball was all the Copperheads needed as they beat the Easley Green Wave 5-1 to head to the Upper State championship finals Friday. 

Catawba Ridge scored five runs on six hits in the third inning as they exploded coming back from down 1-0. 

Easley went up 1-0 off a solo home run in the top of the first. But just like against Greenwood, it took the Copperheads a little time to get in the groove. However, once they found it, they produced offensively.

The scary thing is, Catawba Ridge head coach Michael Kidd feels like they still have more left in them.

“I think we have another level we can get too,” Kidd said. “I don’t think we have reached our full potential yet.”

In the third inning, Catawba Ridge made the most of their opportunities as Ally Testerman and Janelle Ilacqua led the inning off with singles. They were followed by a double from Audrey Wilson scoring them both and giving Catawba Ridge the lead. 

From there the Copperheads kept unloading on Easley. Braylon Lawrence then would drive in Wilson and Kendra Murray would hit a triple to knock in Lawrence. Mia Kovacs would then drive in Lawrence on a sacrifice to give Catawba Ridge a 5-1 lead. 

For the Copperheads, Wilson led them at the plate going 3-4 with two doubles and two RBI. Murray was 1-3 with a triple and an RBI. 

In the circle after giving up the home run, Catawba Ridge pitcher Chloe Burger would quickly find her way. She struck out 16 Easley batters and allowed three hits and three walks in the game. 

York beat Greenwood in the other game of the Upper State bracket, eliminating them. York will now take on Easley Wednesday with the winner traveling to Catawba Ridge Friday. The Copperheads will need to win just one game Friday to head to the 4A state championship next week. 

“I feel good,” Kidd said. “To come here and win twice is going be tough for any team. We are going to take it like it is one game.” 

The win Monday night put Catawba Ridge at 25-4 overall on the season.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Members of the Copperheads are all smiles running off the field between innings.