The Catawba Ridge softball tag-team of Audrey Wilson and Chloe Burger hit the Lugoff-Elgin Demons with a one-two punch to secure game one in the 4A Upper State championship series Monday evening.
The Copperheads rallied from being down 1-0 to get a 3-1 win off the bat of Wilson, who went 2-3 with two home runs and three RBI. The home runs now put Wilson at 10 on the season for the freshman.
“Going up there I knew I had to be confident,” she said. “I knew she was going to bust me outside.”
Burger pitched a two-hitter allowing just one run and two walks while striking out 12. Head coach Michael Kidd said getting the win at home Monday evening gives them the momentum they need for game two Wednesday at Lugoff-Elgin.
“We got to win that first game at home because it’s going to be big game Wednesday,” Kidd said.
Now 22-7 on the season, the Copperheads came into the series as new as the school they represent being in their first full softball season missing their inaugural season because of the coronavirus cancellation of all spring sports last year.
Lugoff-Elgin came into the game at 24-3 and has built a reputation for smashing the ball this season. The game made out to be a pitching duel between the two schools in the early going as the two teams managed just two hits, one each, through three innings.
Burger started the game off focused and struck out the side to open the game in the top of the first. Lugoff-Elgin opened the second inning with a double by Hailey Mack, but she was left stranded at third to end the inning as Burger refocused and got the next three hitters out.
The Demons got base runners on in the third and fourth innings to lead things off as well. Burger was able to get out of the third inning without giving up a run, but in the fourth things were not as lucky for her. A leadoff walk led to a stolen base and then an RBI single from the Demons’ Reece Pickett with two outs to break the scoreless tie.
The Copperheads regrouped in the bottom of the fourth as Wilson smashed a solo shot over the left field wall with one out to tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Wilson struck again smashing another pitch to right center for a two-run shot. Braylon Lawrence singled to get on with one out setting up the home run for Wilson.
Catawba Ridge looks to continue their winning ways at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lugoff. If the Copperheads win, they will move to the 4A state championship next week against either Darlington or Colleton County. A loss puts Catawba Ridge in a winner take all game at a neutral site Friday evening.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep