Lady Hawks slide into playoffs

First Byline: 
Michael Young - Sports Editor

Big plays were the difference in the April 29th Region 5 softball showdown between Blackville-Hilda High and Williston-Elko High.
Deadlock at 4-4 going into the top of the seventh inning, the Lady Hawks were looking to shake free of the Lady Blue Devils for good after squandering an early two run lead.
Fueled by a lead off triple by Hannah Wise, the Lady Hawks unleashed a series of big plays in the seventh inning, erupting for seven runs in an 11-5 win.
With win, Blackville-Hilda High improves to 11-8 overall and qualifies for the final playoff spot. The Lady Hawks will open post season play at Lewisville High.
Blackville-Hilda High coach Michael Beasley said the team made a sluggish start for the win.
"We played well considering all the miscues we had at the start of the game," Beasley said.
"In the first few innings, we blew opportunities to score runs due to bad base running. We managed to overcome all of those errors to close out with a big inning."
Williston-Elko High, which won three of its last four games, ends the regular season.
"I'm proud of these girls. They played really hard," Williston-Elko High coach Dwayne Garrick said.
"We had to play a doubleheader against North earlier, then come to Barnwell to play Blackville-Hilda. It was a close game all the way. They just had little more energy at the end than we did."
The Lady Hawks came out soaring in the contest. Wise got the troops in gear with a single to right field. Two batters later, Wise scored from second base off a hit by Patricia Birt.
Moments later after Kristin Seigler reached on an error, Kayla Pate drove in the second run of the game with a RBI double to deep centerfield.
Trailing 2-0, the Lady Blue Devils quickly evened things up in the bottom of the first inning.
Lauren Pruitt led off the inning with a single. Two batters later, Jordan Nix launched a two-two pitch over the rightfield fence for a two-run homer to tie the game.
In the third inning, the Lady Hawks regained the lead at 3-2. Wise singled, stole second base and scored off a RBI double by Seigler.
The Lady Blue Devils responded in the bottom half of the third inning. Pruitt reached on an error, then scored off a double by Makayla Nuno to bring the team even at 3-3.
In the fifth inning, the Lady Hawks went back in front. This time, Laney Ray singled, stole second and scored of a double by Kensha Staley.
The seesaw affair continued in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Nuno tied the game at 4-4 when she reached on a single, stole second and third and scored off a passed ball.
Tied at 4-4, the Lady Hawks secured the game in the seventh inning by plating seven runs off six hits.
For the Lady Hawks, Wise highlighted the inning with a triple. Big hits in the form of doubles also came off the bat of Seigler, Staley, Melody Birt and Alexis Moors.
Wise was the winning pitcher for the Lady Hawks. She went seven innings with six hits allowed and four strikeouts.
As for Katy Richardson of the Lady Blue Devils, she pitched six strong innings with only six hits allowed and three strikeouts.