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Quick start leads Byrnes by L-E in Upper State opener

Posted: May 9, 2016 4:01 p.m.
Updated: May 10, 2016 1:00 a.m.
Photo courtesy of goflashwin.com/

JUNIOR CATCHER SOPHIE HOLLAND had three hits in Lugoff-Elgin’s 9-4 loss to Byrnes in Saturday’s 4A Upper State tournament opener.

In a season in which the Lugoff-Elgin softball team has not lost back-to-back games, the Lady Demons needed to avoid a second consecutive setback on Monday to keep their 2016 campaign intact.

Making their first Upper State tournament appearance since 2002, the Lady Demons fell to host Byrnes, 9-4, in Saturday evening’s opening round of the 4A Upper State tourney. On Monday, James Marlow and company hosted Boiling Springs, which lost to J.L. Mann, 2-1 in eight innings Saturday, in an elimination contest.

The winner of the Boiling Springs at L-E contest will travel to play the loser of the Byrnes vs. J.L. Mann game on Wednesday. The winner of the J.L. Mann vs. Byrnes contest will advance and host Friday’s 4A Upper State championship and will have to be beaten twice by the visitors in order to advance to the 4A state championship series.

Byrnes, which handed L-E one of its two in-season losses that being a 1-0 win in the Lady Rebel Invitational, scored three times in the bottom of the first on Saturday to jump to a 3-0 lead. The big blow came right from the start when leadoff batter Parker Birch opened the home half of the first with a triple in a play on which L-E leftfielder Sidney Kull had to be helped off the field due to a leg injury.

Birch came in on a Mackenzie Marcum double which was followed by Allison Neely’s reaching on an error to plate Marcus with the third run of the night.

The Rebels added solo runs in the second and third inning to extend their lead to 5-0 before the guests dented the scoreboard for the first time in the top of the fourth.

Freshman Bailey Douglas, whose two-run home run was the difference in last Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Gaffney in the 4A District 3 title game, went yard for the second time in as many games and second time on the season with a solo blast to left in the fourth.

Byrnes answered by scoring three times in the home half of the fourth to increase its lead to 8-1.

The Lady Demons’ bats came alive in the fifth as the guests scored three times to chop the deficit to 8-4 with run-scoring singles coming off the bats of Baleigh Lunsford, Sophie Holland and Erica Rawl. The uprising led Byrnes to bring in Kasey Widmyer, who retired six of the seven batters she faced.

L-E had a solid offensive showing with Douglas going 3-for-3 with a solo shot. Holland was 3-for-4 with an RBI while Lunsford had two hits in four at-bats while driving in a run. Rawl had a base hit which knocked in a run.

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