GOOSE CREEK -- Erin Schattle would have done anything to be in the batter's box, but there was nothing Stratford's leading hitter could do but watch.
It was up to her replacement.
Freshman Megan Johnson roped a single to center field, driving in the winning run in the Knights' 5-4 win over Carolina Forest in 11 innings Thursday night in the Class AAAA softball playoffs.
"I'm so glad she stepped up in that position and stepped up for the team," Schattle said. "Being a freshman on varsity is a big deal, especially at Stratford."
Schattle, who ended the regular season with a team-high .469 batting average, is recovering from a concussion she sustained in practice. She hit her head on a fence post while going for a foul ball last week.
She expects to be back for top-seeded Stratford's next game.
The Knights (25-2) will host Beaufort, a 3-2 winner over Lexington, on Saturday afternoon with a berth in the District 7 championship game on the line.
Carolina Forest (10-10) plays at Lexington on Saturday.
Stratford matched fourth-seeded Carolina Forest run for run in the ninth and 10th innings to make it 4-4 going into the 11th. Knights pitcher Kelsey Haynes (23-2) struck out the first two batters and then coaxed a grounder back to the circle to keep Carolina Forest's runner at second base.
Julie Hudson started the bottom of the inning at second for Stratford then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Johnson then belted the first pitch she saw back up the middle.
"It would have been easy for this team to fold and lose focus because they kept getting the go-ahead run in the top of the inning but they kept answering back," Knights coach Debra Tolar said. "Although it was stressful for me, I think they handled the stress in a great way tonight."
Carolina Forest 000 200 001 10--4 7 0
Stratford 100 100 001 11--5 8 0
WP--Haynes (23-2). LP--Lembcke (8-8). Notes: Stratford-Jordan 3-for-4; Carolina Forest-Shelton 3-for-4.