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Chapman turns the other Cheek loose in downing Lady Dogs

Posted: May 8, 2014 10:02 a.m.
Updated: May 9, 2014 5:00 a.m.
C-I photo by Tom Didato/

CAMDEN’S MADISON WOODY HOPS out of the way of this inside pitch from Chapman’s Alex Hibbitts in the third inning of Wednesday’s state playoff game.

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Abbey Cheek flew out to centerfield in her second at-bat in Chapman’s 10-3 win over Camden in Wednesday’s 3A District 4 softball elimination game.
Ordinarily, that fact would hardly be worth mentioning. But this was hardly your run of the mill day for the Panthers’ catcher.
In her other three plate appearances, the junior belted three home runs while driving in six runs to propel the visitors into tonight’s district title round against unbeaten Seneca. In two games against Camden, which the two sides split, Cheek smacked four home runs. And, for good measure, her older sister and Coastal Carolina signee Caitlyn Cheek had a home run in last Saturday’s 10-7 loss to the Lady Bulldogs.
For Camden head coach Lynn Looney, deciding which Cheek to pitch around was a no-win situation, especially in Abbey Cheek’s final at-bat in which a walk would have loaded the bases for her sister.
“The last time she got up, it was kind of pick your poison because her sister hit one out against us in the first game,” Looney said of Abbey Cheek’s three-run blast to left center in the sixth. “We felt like if we loaded (the bases), she (Caitlyn) might have hit one out. That’s no knock on (CHS pitchers) Kennedi (Stokes) or Vic (Victoria Reyes), (the Cheeks) are just good ballplayers.”
Chapman turned the tables on the Lady Dogs this time around by scoring four times in the first frame and adding another in the second to jump to a 5-0 lead. In last Friday’s postseason opener, it was Camden which jumped on the Panthers for seven runs in the top of the first and hold on for a three-run victory.
“They grabbed the momentum early and we had a hard time getting it back,” Looney said of the early game deficit. “The first couple of innings, we weren’t hitting the ball as well as we did the first night of the tournament.”
An omen for what type of game this would be for the hostesses came in the first inning as with Karsyn Stewart on first with a leadoff single, an error on Tasia Jackson’s infield grounder allowed both players to circle the bases for a quick 2-0 lead. Abbey Cheek followed by sending her first home run to left for a 3-0 advantage before Brooke Scruggs singled home Daisy Bruce to make it 4-0.
An inning later, Caityln Cheek’s double to center brought Jackson, who reached on an error, in from second with the fifth run as Reyes gave way to Kennedy inside the pitching circle.
Camden was able to get to Caitlyn Cheek for a run in the second as Madison Woody and Michaelan Barngrover opened the inning with consecutive walks which brought Alex Hibbitts to the mound who got a double play ball which allowed Woody to score from third after she moved there on a pair of wild pitches.
That solo run was a bump in the road for the Panthers who used a two-run shot to center from Abbey Cheek to hike their lead to 7-1 in the fourth.
Abbey Cheek struck for the third time in the sixth when she clubbed a three-run blast to left center as the guests padded their lead to 10-1.
Having struggled to get anything going at the plate through the first five innings in which it left two runners on base in each of the first three frames, Camden strung together four hits to score two runs in the sixth.
Stokes reached on a two-out fielders’ choice before Alicia Robinson singled to center. Shelby Troublefield loaded the bases when her grounder was booted for an error. Back-to-back singles from Woody and Barngrover followed, driving in Stokes and Robinson to cut the lead to seven runs. The inning closed when Maddison Flowers’ liner to right was hauled in for the final out.
Flowers had two of Camden’s nine hits while Abbey Cheek’s heroics led the way for the winners.
“Our girls never gave up,” Looney said of her team’s sixth inning rally. “And I can’t say enough about how our seniors have played all year; they’ve done a great job.
“I hate that we ended like this, but we did try to make some noise in the late innings … we just couldn’t push the runs across. We’ve had a couple games this year where that has been our problem and, it hurt us.”


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