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Three KC teams still in playoffs
Camden baseball, softball and L-E softball stave off elimination
Mullins web.jpg
CHARLEE MULLINS HAD TWO hits in Camden’s 7-6 win over Emerald in Saturday’s AAA Upper State District 2 elimination game.

Four Kershaw County teams faced do-or-die situations Saturday and, three of the four lived to play another game.

The Camden baseball and softball teams moved on to another pair of elimination games with the Bulldogs blanking host West-Oak in the AAA District 3 tourney behind Tate Abbott’s complete game shutout, 3-0. The Lady Bulldogs stayed alive in the AAA District 2 softball playoffs with an 7-6 win over Emerald while the Lugoff-Elgin softball team was extended into extra innings before coming away with a 6-5, eight inning victory over visiting J.L. Mann in the 5A District 4 tournament.

The lone smudge on the county’s mark Saturday was the L-E baseball team which fell to visiting Easley, 6-3, ending the Demons’ run in District 2 action.

Here are rundowns from those game and the playoff scenarios which unfolded on Monday and, possibly, beyond:

Abbott comes up big at right time for Dogs: All season long, Camden baseball coach Denny Beckley talked about getting Tate Abbott back to the pitcher he was a season ago when the right-hander turned into the ace of the Bulldogs’ staff.

Saturday in Westminster, Abbott reverted to his 2018 form in blanking the host Warriors on four hits while throwing 84 pitches in a 3-0 win. Abbott improved to 5-2 with the complete game gem in which the Warriors advanced a runner beyond second base on one occasion.

The win avenged Camden’s 5-3 first round loss to West-Oak suffered at American Legion Park last Tuesday.

The Bulldogs (17-12) traveled to meet Emerald in the AAA District 2 championship round on Monday, having to defeat the hosts twice in order to advance into the four-team AAA Upper State championship series.

The guests gave Abbott the only run he would need by scoring a run in the top of the first off W-O’s Bud Black, who went the distance while scattering five hits. Brady White led off the game with a walk before the CHS catcher was replaced by courtesy runner Robert Spring who advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Abbott’s two-out single to right.

White was in the middle of things two innings later with a one-out single in the top of the third. Spring would circle the bags and score from first when McKenzie Barrineau continued his hot streak at the plate with a double to left field to make it 2-0.

The Bulldogs tacked on a third insurance run in the top of the seventh as Tyler Maxwell worked Black for a one-out walk and scored from first base on Jacob Jordan’s double to left to make it 3-0.

Abbott, meanwhile, had one mini-jam which came in the third as Black beat out a one-out bunt single and advanced to second on Ben Brock’s single to left. With two gone and the bags filled, Abbott got out of the mess with an inning-ending fly ball to shortstop Jake Tanner. The hosts would not get a runner past first base the rest of the afternoon in a game which took just about 90 minutes to complete.

Back’s double sends Lady Bulldogs to Seneca: After having falling into Saturday’s elimination bracket following Thursday’s 9-0 loss to visiting Seneca, the Camden softball team got another shot at the Lady Bobcats after Joy Back’s walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Lynn Looney’s charges a 7-6 win over Emerald in a game played at Marcus Warren Memorial Field. 

Camden traveled to Seneca on Monday with the winner advancing to meet Broome, a 6-0 winner over Seneca, on Wednesday in the AAA District 2 finals. Broome must be beaten twice by the visitors.

Camden faced a 4-0 deficit after Emerald scored two runs in both the second and third innings. The Lady Bulldogs used a three-run third and added a fourth run in the fourth to even things at 4-4.

The guests went on top, 6-4, with two runs in the seventh only for the hostesses to answer with three in the bottom of the inning with Back drilling a double to plate the winning run.

Camden out-hit Emerald, 9-6, on the afternoon. 

Maddie McNeill and Charlee Mullins had two hits each for the winners who also received hits off the bats of Hailey Spencer, Kennedy Beam and Jolie Clyburn.

Clyburn led things off in the pitcher’s circle for Camden. She allowed one hit and four runs over three innings, striking out four and walking one. Mullins worked the final four innings to get the win.

Curry keeps Lady Demons’ season alive: Two nights after visiting Dorman defeated Lugoff-Elgin, 7-0, in the first round of the 5A District 4 tournament (see above story), the Lady Demons changed the lineup and changed their fortunes with Caitlyn Curry’s hit allowing Bailey Douglas to circle the bases with the winning run as the Savannah Starling’s girls kept their season alive with a 6-5 win over visiting J.L. Mann.

The Lady Demons hosted Dorman on Monday with the winner advancing to Wednesday’s district championship round at Hillcrest, a 4-3 winner over Dorman. The Lady Rams must be defeated twice by whoever comes out of Monday’s pairing at Shelby Miles Memorial Field.

Douglas, who has belted 15 home runs this season and who was walked intentionally three times last Thursday, was moved into the leadoff spot Saturday and responded with a three-hit afternoon.

Douglas led off the eighth with a single before circling the bags and scoring on Curry’s walk-off hit in the eighth.

L-E trailed, 5-4, in the bottom of the seventh before Hailey Mock sent the Senior Night game into extra innings with a solo home run.

Easley holds off Demons: Visiting Easley jumped to a 6-1 lead after five frames and then held off a late Lugoff-Elgin charge to advance to the championship round of the 5A Upper State District 2 tournament by doubling up the Demons, 6-3, in Saturday afternoon’s elimination game played at Optimist Field.

Easley traveled to meet Dorman in Monday’s district championship round with Dorman having to lose twice in order to be denied a spot in Saturday’s 5A Upper State tournament.

After the guests scored two runs in the top of the first, the Demons (15-12-1) cut the lead in half with a run in the second as Jake Laffin drove a leadoff double to center and scored on Ty Dooley’s one-out double to right center.

Easley upped the ante to three runs with a pair in the third and added solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings to extend its lead to 6-1.

L-E knocked off one run from the deficit in the sixth as Walker Branham led off with a single and advanced to second and then third on consecutive one-out singles from Dalton Reeves and Dooley to load the bases. Billy Lankford, who was running for Branham, scored on a balk but that would be it for that inning as Randy Stokes’ offense left the bases loaded.

In their final at-bat, the Demons threatened as J.C. LeGrand received a one-out walk. With two gone, Walker Branham singled to second to put men on first and second for Laffin whose single to left drove in LeGrand as the Demons trimmed the deficit to 6-3 and had runners on the corners when the final out was made.

Dogs use 10-0 win to advance: After having opened postseason play with a 5-3 loss to West-Oak last Tuesday, the Camden baseball team blanked visiting Carolina Academy, 10-0, in Thursday’s elimination bracket contest.

The visitors from the Upstate came into the contest without a win and left American Legion Park winless.

In a game stopped in the bottom of the sixth inning by the 10-run rule, the Dogs sent Owen Newman to the mound and the right-hander picked up his first win of the season by working six innings in his first varsity start while allowing two hits while fanning eight batters.

The hosts scored three times in the third inning in which White drew a leadoff walk with Spring stealing second. Spring scored on Barrineau’s single. Barrineau made it 2-0, coming in from third on an Abbott single. Tanner, who singled, scored the third run on a wild pitch.

The Dogs hung up a four spot in the fifth with Abbott’s triple plating Bennett Caldwell, who reached on an error. Maxwell singled in Abbott with the fifth run while Jordan, who got aboard after being hit by a pitch came home on an error. Maxwell made it 7-0 when he scored on a wild pitch.

Camden ended the game early with a three-run sixth which was helped along by four Carolina errors with Tanner’s single driving in one of the three runs.

The Bulldog offense backed up Newman’s pitching with 10 hits. Abbott had two hits while driving in two runs. Tanner and Maxwell both had two-hit, one-RBI nights for the winners.

Dorman sends L-E into elimination game: Dorman, the state’s top-ranked 5A entry, moved into the District 2 championship round by handing visiting Lugoff-Elgin a 6-0 loss Thursday night’s winners’ bracket game in Spartanburg.

The Cavaliers scored one run in both the first and third innings, added two more in the fourth and scored once in the fifth and sixth to back up the complete game six-hitter thrown by Russell Parry.

L-E’s best scoring chance of the evening came in the second inning in which the guests loaded the bases with one out only for the Cavaliers turn an inning-ending double play behind Parry to maintain the lead and keep the shutout intact.

Dalton Reeves and J.C. LeGrand collected a pair of hits each in the loss.