Gray Collegiate Softball Makes First Upper State Final, Lexington Teams Win in Comeback Fashion

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Monday was a night for Gray Collegiate softball and the "Comeback 'Cats."

The Lady War Eagles defeated Ninety Six 7-1 in West Columbia to advance to the Class 2A Upper State final Friday for the first time in school history.

The Lexington High School softball team also earned a berth in the Class 5A Lower State final in dramatic fashion. After rallying from four runs down to force extra innings, the Lady Wildcats got a leadoff walkoff home run from Livi Warren for the 6-5 win in eight innings over Summerville.

A few hundred yards away on campus, the Lexington baseball team rallied from five runs down to defeat Chapin 10-8 in a Class 5A elimination game. — Thomas Grant Jr.

Softball

Lexington 6, Summerville 5 (8 innings)

Jessica Senn's go-ahead home run in Lexington's Class 5A Lower State playoff win over Wando apparently left a strong impression on the Lady Green Wave.

The strategy throughout the game was not to allow the senior an opportunity at the plate. In fact, Senn was the recipient of four intentional walks.

Summerville did walk senior catcher Sarah Gordon, who entered the contest having hit four of her 14 home runs this past season. They did this after she had belted two solo home runs.

It was the only offense the Lady Wildcats could muster. They fell behind 2-0 in the first inning after a two-run single by Shelbie Mazell.

After Gordon's first home run in the bottom half of the inning, the Lady Green Wave added three runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run triple by Katie Guillam and RBI sacrifice fly by Ansley Bennett.

The runs came off Mackenzie Mathis, who replaced starter Riley Ford in the top of the third inning.
Lexington finally capitalized off Summerville's intentional walk strategy in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Gordon was walked to lead off and scored on Gracie Scott's two-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-4.
With Senn at bat, she took her fourth intentional walk and was replaced by Robyn Craig.

The pinch runner proceeded to steal second and advanced to third on a passed ball. With the catcher slow to walk back to homeplate, Craig raced towards homeplate and slid ahead of the tag attempt to tie the game.

The Lady Wildcats' newfound momentum carried over into the top of the eighth. After two quick outs, however, play was halted as Summerville sought to insert a pinch hitter in place of a flex player.

Epps protested the move and this led to a 35-minute discussion among the umpires. They finally decided not to allow the switch and the flex player struck out.

Warren came to the plate to open the bottom half of the inning. She swung right at the first pitch and the ball sailed well over the rightfield wall.

Enthused Lexington teammates greeted Warren at homeplate as stunned Lady Green Wave players lined up for the post-game handshake. Summerville must now visit Chapin Wednesday for an elimination game. — Thomas Grant Jr.

Gray Collegiate 7, Ninety Six 1

Brookline Thomas and Madox Long both had two hits and Kaley Anderson and Madison Knapper both drove in two runs to lead the Lady War Eagles to their eight straight win.

Taylor Corley allowed seven hits and struck out three in the victory.

Gray Collegiate will now await the winner of Wednesday's elimination game between Ninety Six and Crescent. The Upper State final is set for Friday. — Thomas Grant Jr.

Chapin 4, Wando 3

A pair of timely hits by Aspen Mayers enabled the Lady Eagles to stay alive in the Class 5A Lower State playoffs.

She had a three-run double in the bottom of the fifth to give Chapin a 3-2 lead.

The Lady Warriors tied the game in the top of the sixth inning on a RBI single by Isabella Mann.

After Eason Davis led off the bottom of the seventh with her second single and advanced to third with two outs, Mayers came through again. She lined the 3-1 pitch into centerfield to score Davis and end Wando's season.

Chapin will now play host to Summerville Wednesday in an elimination game. The winner visits Lexington Friday for the Class 5A Lower State final. — Thomas Grant Jr.

Loris 8, Gilbert 3

The Lady Indians saw their season come to an end Monday night on the road. 

Baseball

Lexington 10, Chapin 8 

It might be time to call the Lexington Wildcats baseball team this year’s “Comeback kids”. 

The Wildcats came from behind for the 10th time this season to beat the Chapin Eagles 10-8 in a Class 5A Lower State must-win playoff elimination game. 

The Wildcats struck first, taking a 2-1 lead by the end of the second inning. The Eagles turned up the offense in the third inning as shortstop Foster Apple hit a 2-run blast over the left field fence to put Chapin up 3-2.

Lexington tied up the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the third with a RBI hit-by-pitch by Tyler Ford with the bases loaded that automatically brought a run home. Chapin opened up a sizable lead in the fourth, scoring on a one-out double, an RBI single, and then another three-run homer by Apple to make it 8-3. 

The Wildcats began their comeback with the first batter in the bottom of the fourth. Nathan Hall stroked a solo home run to make it 8-4. 

Chapin pulled their starting pitcher after another base hit by the Wildcats, putting shortstop Apple on the mound. Lexington wasted no time in loading up the bases on Apple and adding another run off a Braden Fournel single to make it 8-5. 

Another bases loaded run scored after a walk by Coleman Bland and an infield ground out by Logan Goodwin scored another. Add an error off a groundball hit by Gabe Herold and all of a sudden, the game was tied up 8-8.

With Hall back up to bat as the Wildcats batted through their order, he was intentionally walked. The Eagles were able to get Cole Long to fly out the end the inning. 

The Wildcats took the lead in the bottom of the fifth as Landon Knight dropped a solo home run over the fence. After Lexington loaded the bases again on the Eagles, Tyler Floyd walked to drive in his team’s 10th run.

The Wildcats will travel to Berkeley Wednesday, needing two wins to advance to the Class 5A final.  —  Kevin Oliver

Brookland-Cayce 7, Hanahan 3

The Bearcats used a five-run second inning to stay alive in the Class 3A Lower State playoffs.

Parker Mergo had two hits and he, B.J. Etheridge and starting pitcher Mason Turner all drove in two runs in the win. Skylar King and winning pitcher Jordan Gibbs both had two hits.

Brookland-Cayce now travels to Mount Pleasant Wednesday to face Oceanside Collegiate in the Lower State final. — Thomas Grant Jr.

Hartsville 1, Airport 0

Jackson Moore's walkoff run-scoring double sent the Red Foxes into the Class 4A Lower State final.

The Eagles were limited to three hits by Clemson signee Sam Cannarella, who finished with 10 strikeouts. He, along with Moore and Garrett Parker, all had two hits.

Airport will now once again play at home James Island Tuesday in an elimination game.

The winner goes to Hartsville Wednesday for the Lower State final. — Thomas Grant Jr.

Provided
Watch and listen to the call of Lexington's Livi Warren's walkoff home run against Summerville in the Class 5A Lower State playoffs by Lexington Wildcats' commentator and father Mike Warren.

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