AIKEN — After losing its first Region 1-AAAA game of the season last Friday, the Easley High School softball team rebounded strong and finished second in its division at the Triple Crown Invitational in Aiken.
The Lady Green Wave opened the week with a 7-1 region victory over Westside. After winning seven consecutive region games, Easley dropped its first to a region foe as Woodmont came to town and posted a 6-3 victory.
It was then off to Aiken to participate in the Triple Crown Invitational. Because of the Woodmont game being played on Friday, Easley had to play all five games Saturday. Easley opened tournament play by defeating Wando 9-1 and then lost on a controversial call to Gilbert, 3-1. Easley rebounded to beat Saluda 18-8 to finish second and earn a spot in the Gold Division.
Easley beat Andrew Jackson 4-0 to earn the right to face region rival Laurens for the championship game. But the drain of the long day took its toil on the Lady Green Wave as they committed five errors and lost 7-1.
Easley played Mann at home Tuesday and will be back at home to take on Hillcrest at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Lady Green Wave will have a shot at revenge with Laurens when it travels to face the Lady Raiders at 7:30 Friday. Easley will then be off next week for spring break.
Easley 7, Westside 1
Sydney Patterson had a trio of hits and also scored three runs to lead Easley to the region win. Kelsey Garrett had an RBI double to go with a single.
Easley grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a walk by Boo Vaughn and sacrifice fly by Robin Bradley, and added another run in the second when Patterson singled and scored on a single by Taylor Rothrock.
Consecutive singles by Bradley, Mattison Trammell and Patterson set the table for a two-run single by Waldrop. Easley plated another run in the inning on a wild pitch.
Brittany Kimbrough singled in the sixth and scored on Garrett’s double, and Easley scored its final run in the seventh when Patterson singled and scored on a single by Vaughn.
Kimbrough and Trammell also had multiple hits in the game as Easley totaled 12 hits in the game.
Kimbrough was the winning pitcher as she scattered four hits. She retired the final 13 batters she faced.
Woodmont 6, Easley 3
Easley got three hits to score three runs in the first inning, but had just two hits the rest of the game. The result was its first region loss of the season after seven consecutive wins.
The Lady Green Wave jumped to a 3-0 in the first inning. Boo Vaughn was hit by a pitch and Brittany Kimbrough singled. With one out, Robin Bradley reached on an error to score a run. Mattison Trammell and Sydney Patterson each had run-scoring singles.
That was all the offense Easley could generate, though. The Lady Green Wave had two runners on the fourth, but a groundout ended the inning. Easley had just one base runner over the final three innings, a one-out double by Kelsey Garrett.
The wind was a factor for both teams. Easley had 11 fly-ball outs, nine of them in the infield, and Woodmont had five.
Jade Hendricks took the loss despite scattering five hits. All of Woodmont’s runs were scored in the third and fourth innings.
Triple Crown Invitational
Easley outscored five opponents 33-19 to finish second in pool play and then advance to the championship game of the Gold Division.
Jade Hendricks led Easley at the plate during the tournament with seven hits in 14 at-bats. She also had a home run against Saluda. Taylor Waldrop was 6-for-14 with a pair of doubles. Robin Bradley was 6-for-15 with three doubles and five runs scored. She had a team-high five runs batted in.
Boo Vaughn was 5-for-13 and was 4-for-4 on stolen bases.
Brittany Kimbrough picked up two wins in the circle for the Lady Green Wave. She allowed just one run against Wando and shut out Andrew Jackson. Hendricks was 0-2, including a tough loss to Gilbert. The Lady Warriors had a home run in the sixth inning that appeared to bounce over the fence, but was ruled over on the fly. That shot broke a 1-1 tie.