The Fort Dorchester softball team earned a pair of convincing wins last week.
The Lady Patriots had a bit of a slow start this season, losing multiple games to both Berkeley and Ashley Ridge. However, Fort Dorchester blew out Goose Creek twice to enter this week with a 3-5 record with a 1-2 mark in Region 8-AAAAA.
“We haven’t peaked yet which isn’t a terrible thing,” Fort Dorchester coach Lindsey LaPrad said. “While we have a lot of seniors, we also have some kids who haven’t been in certain situations before so we are still learning how to jell together. Once we get that straight I hope we can really put everything together and some good things will come.”
The team has a strong core of six seniors this season. Pitcher/infielder Merryl Dolbeck, pitcher/infielder Abby Briganti, second baseman Whitney Clevenger, third baseman Aujea Bowman, catcher Jewel Cooper and left fielder Makenna Adkins have all been with the Lady Patriots varsity team since their sophomore season. Dolbeck, Bowman and Clevenger were with the team in 2018 as freshmen.
Junior Madison Boyd, also a returning letterman, anchors the team’s outfield. The rest of the team is young. Seventh-grader Hailey Greatrex is the starter in right field and freshman Payton Brigman is the team’s starting short stop and pitches. Freshman Sydney Mueller and sophomores Audrey Leverett, Sara Galvan and Piper Classen provide depth.
The Patriots defeated Goose Creek 14-1 March 29. Brigman and Briganti both pitched two innings. Cooper, Bowman, Adkins, Mueller and Clevenger all had two hits and combined drove in eight runs.
On April 2, Fort Dorchester earned a 15-0 shutout over the Gators. Briganti had the pitching win. Brigman was 3 for 4 at the plate with 4 RBIs. Cooper was 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs. Briganti and Adkins both had 2 hits and multiple RBIs.
For the season, Cooper is leading the team at the plate with a .625 batting average and .600 on base percentage. She has 18 hits including four home runs and 15 RBIs.
Bowman has a .500 batting average and .501 on base percentage. She has 13 hits including three home runs and 12 RBIs.
Brigman has a .523 batting average and .621 on base percentage. She has 14 hits including two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Dolbeck is 2-2 in the circle with 19 strike outs versus 4 bases on balls and has a 4.5 ERA. Brigman is 2-0 in the circle with 11 strike outs versus 3 bases on balls and has a 1.6 ERA.
Fort Dorchester hosts the Palmetto Invitational Tournament at Wescott Park April 9-10. The tournament will feature several Lowcountry teams plus a few teams from out of the area. Ashley Ridge and Summerville are also in this year’s field of teams.