On paper, Lexington should have beaten Wando on Wednesday night in the Class AAAA softball playoffs.
A good thing for Wando that games are not played on paper.
Tori Frink and Brooke Gibert each had two hits and Danica Newton picked up her 25th win of the season to lead Wando past Lexington, 5-4, in the Class AAAA softball playoffs.
The Warriors (25-3) will advance to the Class AAAA Lower State semifinals against the winner of the Summerville-Dutch Fork game Saturday night.
Lexington finished its season at 18-10.
The Wildcats (pounded out 11 hits, but left 10 runners on base and were hurt by four costly errors, which led to two unearned runs.
“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” said Wando coach Steve Legette. “We probably didn’t deserve to win that game. Lexington really hit the ball well. I’m not sure anyone has hit us like Lexington did all season long. But give our girls credit, they battled the whole game and found a way to win.”
Besides Frink and Gibert, the rest of the Warriors lineup managed just a single hit against Lexington pitcher Natalie Willis.
“We got some very timely hits,” Legette said. “They had a couple of errors that we took advantage of, and that was the difference in the game. Lexington just refused to give up tonight and that’s a credit to their players and their coaching staff.”
The normally dominant Newton struck out eight batters in seven innings, but also gave up four extra-base hits.
Early on it appeared that the Warriors would make quick work of the Wildcats, scoring three runs in the first inning. Frink had a two-run single to highlight the inning.
Each team added a run in the third inning, then Lexington closed the gap to 4-2 in the fourth inning.
The Warriors pushed their lead to 5-2 when Frink reached on an error and later scored on a fielder’s choice.
But the Wildcats rallied in their final at bat with two runs in the top of the seventh and had the go-ahead run at first. But Newton ended the threat as she struck out Courtney White to end the game.
“The experience of our senior really came through for us in those final two innings,” Legette said. “They kept us focused on what we needed to do.”