HANAHAN — Hanahan bowed out of the Class AA Lower State softball tournament as District VI champions in two games in each of the past two seasons. But with Saturday’s 1-0 win over District V titlist Aynor, the Hawks ensured that an early exit wouldn’t be the case this year.
In a second-round contest at 6 p.m. Monday, Hanahan (19-4) will travel to Dillon, a 2-1 winner over Andrews.
“(The players are) happy to win this one because of what happened in the past,” Hawks coach Katrina Moffett said of her squad’s lack of recent Lower State tournament success. “We are a great team, and if we make the plays and we hit the ball, there’s no telling where we could go.”
The game was scoreless through 5½ innings, and although Aynor threatened in the second stanza, Hanahan catcher Brittany Hines picked off Tamera Altman on third base to end the inning.
Hines’ single to left field with one out in the fifth broke up what was a no-hit performance from the Blue Jackets’ Shelby Culler. Hunter Wauhop followed with a single, but Aynor (11-6) escaped unscathed.
The momentum generated in the fifth paved the way for the decisive sixth inning.
With runners on second and third, a sacrifice fly to center from Ashley Cox plated Kayla Dyson for the game’s only run. Dyson was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and the Hawks utilized Emma Scharett’s sac bunt and a bloop single from Alli Adams to manufacture the run.
“It was just the perfect inning right there as far as hitting,” Moffett said. “(Cox) needed to drive the ball to the outfield to get this run in, and she did a perfect job.”
Hanahan starter Megan Wright gave up just a pair of hits and one walk while striking out three in a complete game.
Aynor 000 000 0 – 0 2 1 Hanahan 000 001 x – 1 3 2
WP—Wright. LP—Culler. Records: Hanahan 19-4. Aynor 11-6. Next: Hanahan at Dillon on Monday at 6 p.m.