Summerville — The Green Wave are back and ready for another shot.
Summerville defeated Bluffton, 4-2, on Friday to clinch the Class AAAA softball Lower State championship for only the second time in Green Wave softball history.
Summerville opens the best-of-3 state championship series Monday by hosting Boiling Springs, a 10-0 winner Friday over Byrnes.
The only other time Summerville advanced to the state championship series was in 2010, when the Green Wave lost to Mauldin. Boiling Springs is the top-ranked Class AAAA team in the state, and won this year’s Azalea Invitational Tournament that is hosted by Summerville.
“We started off this season well, but then we had a little rough patch, so I’m just proud of the way our kids kind of turned things around, and of the way they have played in the playoffs,” Summerville coach Heather Tucker said.
“Lefty (Taylor Wuerfel) did an outstanding job pitching. Taylor Belfiore, who had all four RBIs, was really focused at the plate.”
Summerville’s (23-7) big inning was the third. Sarah Windham reached on an error and moved over on a bunt single by Taylor Powell. Wuerfel reached on another error to load the bases and, after a strikeout, Belfiore doubled to drive in three runs.
In the bottom of the fifth, Belfiore singled to plate Windham for a 4-0 Green Wave lead.
Bluffton had scoring opportunities in the game but didn’t capitalize until the seventh. Pitcher Courtney Smith led off with a single. Jordyn Parker had an infield single for runners on the corners and then Morganne Parker doubled to plate courtesy runner Olivia Beine.
That brought Mikyla Houghian to the plate and she singled. Parker rounded third and the Summerville left fielder threw the ball in to Wuerfel who opted not to throw home but go after the runner on her way to third. Parker scored, but after a short rundown, Wuerfel threw to third baseman Hannah Horton and she tagged the runner for the final out of the game.
The night marked the end of a strong season for the Bobcats, who moved up to the AAAA classification this season. Bluffton (21-7) split its region games with Summerville and the teams finished as co-region champions for Region 8-AAAA.
“Considering this is our first year in AAAA, I couldn’t be more proud of our kids and that we made it into the final four for the state playoffs,” Bluffton coach Bill Ball said. “The did a great job. I’m going to miss my seniors but we have a great group of younger kids so I’m looking forward to next year. I wish Summerville success and I hope they represent the Lower State well.”
Summerville 4, Bluffton 2
Summerville 003 010x–4 5 1
Bluffton 000 000 2–2 8 3
WP– Wuerfel. LP–Smith. Record: SHS 23-7. BHS 21-7. Notes : (S) Wuerfel had nine strikeouts and only one walk. Belfiore was 2 for 3 with a double. (B) Morganne Parker was 2 for 4.