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KC Ponytails play their way to third in state tournament
THE KERSHAW COUNTY PONYTAILS won the District 2 softball championship before finishing third in the state tournament played in Bluffton. Team members were Madison Knoerr, Sarah Sheorn, Cameran Peake, Isabel Trapp, Christen Citro, Savana Mosley, Laurel Rodgers, Ella Sheorn, Ashlynn Wright, Madison Stokes, Kayley Lynch and Haydin Williams. The coaching staff was made up of William Trapp, Stephen Sheorn and Lee Stokes.

The Kershaw County 12u Ponytails softball team finished third in the South Carolina State Tournament played in Bluffton.

Kershaw County knocked off the host team from Bluffton, 25-3, in the opening game. The entire team hit the ball well and played solid defense in the lopsided victory to set up a meeting with eventual state champion Union County in a winners’ bracket contest. 

KC and Union County were tied at 4-4 after two inning only to have things get away from local entry in the third inning as Union County pulled away for the 16-5 win.

In an elimination game against District 1 champion, Georgetown, KC was able to get three-up and three-down in the top of the first inning. In the bottom portion of the frame, KC put four runs on the board thanks to RBI from Isabel Trapp, Savana Mosley, Laurel Rodgers and Haydin Williams. 

Georgetown was able score a run in the top of the second. In the bottom of the that inning, with two outs and runners on second and third, KC’s Madison Knoerr had a two-run hit to keep the inning going. KC was able to tack on four more runs in the bottom in the fame on a two-run double off the bat of by Madison Stokes and Mosley to push the lead to 10-1. After the game, KC coach Lee Stokes told Knoerr that her big two-out hit led to 6 runs. 

KC retired Georgetown in order in the top of third and added one more run to make it 11-1 going into the top of the fourth. Georgetown scored two times in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 11-3 as KC needed two runs to end the game on a run rule. 

After Ashlynn Wright walked and Knoerr reached on an error, Ella Sheorn was able to get a great bunt down to move both runners in scoring position with out out. “Ella was frustrated by not beating the bunt out to first. She did her job but shows how competitive she is,” said Lee Stokes of the play. Madison Stokes was then able to hit a 2-0 pitch to right center to end the game early at 13-3. In addition to getting the game-ending hit, Madison Stokes pitched all four innings to get the victory 

In game four, KC met the lone unbeaten team in the tourney, Union County, for the second time.  KC played hard but lost 13-3 in a game that ended around 11:15 p.m. on the team’s fifth day at the state tournament. 

Lee Stokes told the girls they almost made it to the final day when the event was over. 

“It was a great accomplishment for these girls to finish third in the state,” he said. “It showed great dedication from these kids, parents, assistant coaches and extended assistant coaches. I wanted to win and have a shot at the Dixie World Series in Louisiana, however my main goal was for the girls to give it their all and they certainly did that. 

“Union County will represent the state in the World Series and I believe they have a shot to compete for the championship.  We would also like to thanks to all those who donated money and time for these girls to make the trip to Bluffton.”