One school, two teams playing about 80 miles apart came away with the same results – an Upper State championship.
The Catawba Ridge Copperheads baseball and softball teams were both in game two of their respective Upper State series with each team playing on the road Friday night. Both teams secured wins and will now look to play for a state championship next week.
The baseball team was in Laurens, while the softball team was 80 miles south in North Augusta. Both Copperheads teams had a 1-0 lead in the best of three series going into game two Friday night.
At North Augusta’s Riverview Park, the Copperheads would sweep the Yellow Jackets in their Upper State series with a 5-2 win. Catawba Ridge improves to 24-3 on the season and repeats as 4A Upper State champions getting some revenge on the Yellow Jackets, which beat them last year for the 4A state title.
The game was a lot like the first one as it was close for most of the time. Pitcher Chloe Burger would pitch a complete game allowing just two runs on four hits, while walking two and striking out five.
The Copperheads got the timely hits they needed as Jenna Gardner led at the plate going 2-3 with an RBI. Kyrsten Reynolds would go 1-3 with an RBI coming up with a big hit towards the end of the game. Audrey Wilson went 1-4 and Braylon Lawrence went 1-3 scoring twice.
Catawba Ridge got into trouble early as Burger hit two of the first three batters she faced. A single by North Augusta two batters later with two outs allowed them to score their first run of the game.
Catawba Ridge came back to tie the game in the top of the second with the help of two North Augusta errors as Lawrence ended up stealing home. Gardner then knocked in Georgia Burford on a single to give the Copperheads a 2-1 lead.
The Yellow Jackets continued to be a pest to Burger as they got two runners on to open the bottom of the second. North Augusta would have a base runner steal home as well to tie the game in the inning, but Burger was able to work out of the jam without allowing another run.
Both pitchers seemed to find a groove and the offenses for both teams were unable to really make anything happen over the next three innings. Catawba Ridge didn’t get any base runners during that time and North Augusta only got one off a single.
In the top of the sixth, Wilson hit a double and then a North Augusta error would allow her to score giving the Copperheads a 3-2 lead.
The next inning saw Catawba Ridge threaten again as Lawrence singled to lead the inning off. Gardner would then get on with a single. Reynolds would then also single scoring both Lawrence and Gardner to give Catawba Ridge some breathing room and make it 5-2.
North Augusta got a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the seventh, but Burger was able to regroup and comeback to get the next three batters out to end the game.
Catawba Ridge will open the game 4A state championship series Tuesday, May 23 at home in the best of three series. They will play the winner of South Florence and West Florence which is playing a decisive game three Saturday.
After falling to the Laurens Raiders last year in the District playoffs, Catawba Ridge, like their female counterparts, was able to get some revenge and knocked Laurens out of the playoffs by sweeping the 4A Upper State championship series.
The Copperheads beat Laurens 4-2 Friday night to clinch the school’s first ever Upper State title in the sport. They will face North Myrtle Beach, who beat South Florence to win the Lower State Championship, starting Monday, May 22 with game one being at Catawba Ridge. The Copperheads improved to 27-6 overall on the season with the win.
Catawba Ridge opened the game up going right at the Laurens pitching and getting two runners on early in the first inning. Brennan Helms singled and pushed Jackson Mullen to second after he walked. Sam Schwamb would drive in Mullen to give the Copperheads a 1-0 lead with two outs in the top of the first.
Laurens came back in the bottom of the inning to tie the game on a two-out double by Bennett Edwards. A dropped third strike allowed another Raiders’ run to score and advance runners to the corners.
In the third inning, Owen Noonan would single to start the inning for the Copperheads. He scored later to tie the game at 2-2 on a single from Schwamb.
Catawba Ridge would regain the lead in the fourth as Peyton Dhein, Ben Wilson and Ethan Solnick would all start the inning with hits. Dhein and Wilson singled and Solnick doubled in Dhein to give the Copperheads the lead.
Britton Nash started the top of the sixth inning off on a double for Catawba Ridge. Wilson knocked him in two batters later to push the score to 4-2 for the Copperheads. Solnick would keep the inning going on a single with two outs. Solnick, Schwamb and Wilson would each get two hits in the game.
Jake McCoy got the start for Catawba Ridge on the mound and besides allowing the runs in the first inning, settled in to throw another gem. McCoy went five innings striking out nine and walking four, while allowing just the two runs on one hit.
Caden Glauber came in the game in the sixth inning to relieve McCoy pitching the final two innings. Glauber would strike out four during the two innings of work and even got a single at his only at-bat. Between Glauber and McCoy, Catawba Ridge allowed just one hit in the game.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep