EASLEY — The Easley High School softball team might have won its opening-round playoff game, but the Lady Green Wave is in for the biggest battle of the season if they expect to advance.
Easley finished second in Region 1-AAAA and drew the unlikely assignment of being in the same district tournament with Mauldin.
The Lady Mavericks swept through the regular season with a 22-0 record and No. 1 state ranking.
Mauldin proved its ranking Saturday by handing Easley its worst loss of the season, 10-0, in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.
It bettered by six runs Easley’s worst loss of the season and was only the second time Easley had given up double digits in runs (the other was a 15-10 win).
Easley had opened the playoffs with a 4-2 victory over Dorman at home on Thursday. The loss to the Lady Mavs set up a rematch with Dorman on Monday.
The loser of the game was eliminated with the winner advancing to play at Mauldin tonight, and needing two wins to capture the district title.
Easley 4, Dorman 2
Dorman jumped on Easley starter Jade Hendricks for two runs in the first inning, but it could have been worse.
Dorman had a single, walk and two fielder’s choices to load the bases with one out. A double drove in two runs before Easley’s seventh-grade pitcher settled down and got an infield popup and a strikeout to end the inning.
The score remained that way as Easley went down in order the first three innings. Dorman had plated another run in the third inning for an apparent 3-0 lead, but the runner was called out for leaving early on the tag up and Easley’s deficit remained at two.
Easley finally got on the board in the fourth inning to tie the score.
Seniors Boo Vaughn and Brittany Kimbrough got the rally going with back-to-back singles.
A wild pitch moved them into scoring position, with Vaughn scoring on a fielder’s choice by Kelsey Garrett.
With one out, Mattison Trammell reached on an infield error that loaded the bases. Following a strikeout, Isbael Durham’s single plated the tying run.
The Lady Green Wave pushed the winning runs home in the bottom of the seventh inning as Robin Bradley got the rally started with a single.
She went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Trammell and scored the winning run on a single by Hannah Gravely. Durham added an insurance run with a double to score Gravely.
After allowing 11 base runners in the first four innings, Hendricks gave up a leadoff single in the fifth inning and then put down nine consecutive to seal the win.
Mauldin 10, Easley 0
Easley was limited to two hits by Mauldin starter Amanda Storch and the Lady Green Wave had just three base runners the entire game.
Mauldin got all the offense it would need in the second inning with a single run, and made it 2-0 with another run in the third.
The Lady Mavs exploded in the fifth inning with six runs, including back-to-back-to-back home runs.
After giving up 12 home runs last season, Easley pitcher Brittany Kimbrough had been touched for only one this year — until Saturday.
Mauldin entered the game with every starter batting over .400 for the season.
Easley went down in order four times. Mattison Trammell was hit by a pitch and Hannah Gravely singled in the second, but a strikeout and fly ball ended the inning. Easley’s only other base runner was a two-out single by Kimbrough in the sixth inning.
Storch also struck out 12 as every batter in Easley’s lineup except one had at least one. Easley entered the game with a team batting average of .326 and had struck out only 102 times in 665 plate appearances.