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L-E blasts its way past Lady Eagles

Lady Demons go deep five times in rout

Posted: May 8, 2017 3:25 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Tom Didato/C-I

SOPHIE HOLLAND HAD ONE of five Lugoff-Elgin home runs in Saturday’s 13-1 romp over Beaufort in the opening round of the 4A Lower State championship tourney.

BEAUFORT -- Bombs away.

After defeating Wilson, 14-2, last Wednesday to capture the 4A District 6 softball championship, Lugoff-Elgin head coach James Marlow had to take his team down to the Lowcountry to square off against District 7 winner Beaufort.

The visiting Lady Demons belted five home runs and advanced into Monday’s winners’ bracket game in Hartsville with a 13-1 thrashing of the Lady Eagles.

Three of the blasts came in a top of the first inning in which L-E sent 11 batters to the plate while scoring seven runs.

Savannah Grigsby would get things started for the Lady Demons with a single to left. L-E pitcher Bailey Douglas was next and reached on an infield bunt single that was perfectly placed down the first baseline. Grigsby, who never stopped running, advanced over to third on the play.  With runners at the corners, senior first baseman Kelly Graham hit a 1-0 pitch over the right center field wall for a three-run home run to right center for her ninth homer of the season to give the guests a quick 3-0 lead. 

Two batters later, senior Sophie Holland hit a solo home run to left to make it a 4-0 game. 

Kellee Branham kept things rolling with a single to left. Two pitches later, Branham stole second and was able to advance to third on an errant throw by Beaufort’s catcher. With Branham at third, this gave Gracie Holland an RBI opportunity. Down 0-2 in the count, the freshman would drive Branham in with an RBI single to left to push the lead to 5-0. With Holland at first, senior shortstop Erica Rawl came to the plate and hit the first pitch over the left field wall for a two-run shot to give the Lady Demons a commanding 7-0 lead before Beaufort had come to bat for the first time. 

After stranding two runners in both the second and third innings and a runner in the fourth, the Lady Demons tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the fifth. 

With Caitlyn Curry on second and Rawl on third base, Grigsby drove in the eighth run of the game on a RBI ground out to second allowing Rawl to score. With one gone and Curry at third, Douglas helped her own cause with a run-producing ground out to third to extend the lead to 9-0.

Beaufort averted the shutout by scoring its lone run in the bottom of the sixth on a solo shot off the bat of Savannah Mullen.

The Lady Demons were not done, yet, however.

In the top of the seventh, L-E scored four more runs. After Rawl and Curry hit consecutive singles to right, Douglas sent a three-run blast out beyond the fence in left. Kaley Goerlich made it back-to-back shots as she followed up Douglas’ home run with a solo bomb to right center to make the score 13-1. 

Lugoff-Elgin finished Saturday’s matinee with 19 hits led by Sophie Holland’s 4-for-4 afternoon. Rawl had three hits in four trips while Graham, Douglas and Goerlich had two-hit days with each smashing a home run while Douglas and Graham drove in four and three runs, respectively.

In addition to her big day at the plate, Douglas threw the first five frames, allowing a pair of singles while fanning five and walking three batters. Gracie Holland came on in the sixth and had four strikeouts in two innings of work.  

The Lady Demons played another error-free game. Second baseman Curry came up with a pair of key defensive plays; one involving a diving stop to her left to throw out a runner on a bang-bang play at first in the bottom of the sixth. 

 

Upper State scenario: Monday marked the third meeting of the season between L-E and Region 6 4A colleague Hartsville. The two teams split their in-season meetings. The Lady Demons won the first game at home, 8-1, and Hartsville took the second pairing on its home field, 6-3. Both teams finished the regular season with a 6-2 record in conference play. 

The Lady Red Foxes, the 2016 AAA state champions, blanked Berkeley, 3-0, Saturday.

The winner of Monday night’s game will host the 4A Lower State championship on Friday night and will only need to win once to advance to the 4A state championship series, which begins next Monday. 

 

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