MOUNT PLEASANT -- It's hard enough to beat a team twice in one season. Beating a No. 1 playoff seed twice in one week, that's an even tougher challenge.
Wando softball defeated Lexington, 5-2, Thursday in the Class AAAA District V title game to advance to the Lower State tournament. Just six days earlier, the No. 2 seeded Warriors downed the No. 1 Wildcats in the second round of the district tournament.
Freshman Alyssa Heinrich earned the win for Wando, allowing two earned runs off four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Heinrich gave up both runs in the first inning but settled in to allow just two hits through the next 61/3 innings, none in the final three innings.
"Defense and pitching win games," Wando coach Steve Legette said. "Our kids have dedicated themselves to that and it paid off here today."
Courtney White struck early for Lexington (16-7) with a triple to score Emily Mattone and Ashley Camp in the top of the first inning.
Wando (18-9) countered with two runs in the bottom frame. Kendall Schweers scored off a throw home after Kayla Bannister singled. Morgan Howard then drove in Kasey Cox with a single to tie the game.
Schweers provided the go-ahead run with two outs in the second off a single to score Brooke Aden. Brooke Gibert drove in Cox with a single in the third, and Katelyn Cribb scored off a Banister sacrifice fly in the fourth.
"When you get down against a team like Wando and you don't hit, it pretty much seals your fate," Lexington coach Russell Spires said. "In the playoffs you have to hit to win and we just didn't do it today."
Lexington hit .167 as a team and left five runners stranded, two in scoring position. Wando hit .375 with nine hits. Schweers finished 2 for 2 with an RBI and run scored, Cribb 2 for 3 with a run scored, and Howard 1 for 3 with an RBI.
The Warriors advance to host longtime rival and District VI champion Summerville on Saturday in the opening round of the Lower State tournament. Summerville (24-4) defeated Spring Valley, 2-1, Wednesday to earn its bid into Lower State.
"Some of our younger players haven't been a part of that rivalry that we've had with Summerville in the past but they know about it," Legette said. "It's always a battle with us and Summerville. We just know the next game is always the most important one and we'll keep battling that way."
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