Both coaches are optimistic after Summerville and Boiling Springs fought a tight battle to open the Class AAAA softball state championship series on Monday.
The Bulldogs (31-1) handed the Green Wave (23-8) a 4-3 loss in the opening game of the best-of-three series but never seized complete control of the game, which is what many may have expected from the top-ranked team in the state.
“Our kids played well tonight,” Summerville coach Heather Tucker said. “Boiling Springs is a really good hitting team but we made a lot of good defensive plays. I feel offensively a few shots fell for them that didn’t fall for us so we just need to tweak our offense a little and I think we still have a shot at it.”
Game two of the series is scheduled for Wednesday at Boiling Springs. Tucker isn’t looking forward to the trip, but he is looking forward to a shot at redemption.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall in the playoffs before and been able to come across on the other side so we have a lot of belief in our kids,” she said. “We will just go grind it out up there and do our best.”
Still, the edge — for now — belongs to the Bulldogs.
“When you are playing for the state championship, you expect both teams to play well,” Boiling Springs coach Sandy Martin said. “Summerville is a good team and they kept hitting the ball, but we stepped up and played on both sides of the ball. We are ecstatic about coming over here and getting a win in the first game. That is really the best-case scenario to be able to go home with a win.”
Boiling Springs tallied nine hits to Summerville’s seven, and pitcher Taylor Cabe stuck out nine Green Wave batters while walking only one.
Bailie Maybry, Katie Jacoby and Webber Roberts had two hits each for the Bulldogs. Maybry and Jacoby also had an RBI each while Roberts scored one of the runs.
Sarah Windham and Dani Halajcsik had two hits each for the Wave. Halajcsik drove in a run and scored another.
Boling Springs’ leadoff hitter, Camry Taylor, sent the third pitch of the game way over the left-field fence for a solo home run.
But Summerville answered in the second inning. Halajcsik singled, moved over on a groundout and scored on a single by Hannah Horton to tie the game.
The Bulldogs regained the lead in the third after Myranda Dills doubled and came home on a shallow single to right field by Maybry.
In the bottom of the frame, Summerville took the lead back. Taylor Powell hit a single and then reached second on a fielding error. She moved to third when pitcher Taylor Wuerfel grounded out and scored when catcher Taylor Belfiore reached on an error. That brought Halajcsik to the plate, and she reached when she hit a line drive into Cabe’s chest. Summer Jenkins, who received a base on balls, scored on the play.
But that was all the runs Summerville could muster.
Boiling Springs closed out the scoring in the fourth went it sent two runs across. Cabe singled to plate Jacoby and Webber Roberts singled to drive in courtesy runner Moriah Gomez.
Boiling Springs 101 200 0–491
Summerville 012 000 0–370