The Barnwell High varsity softball team had a good run this season. The team racked up more than 17 wins for the fifth year in a row.
The winning, however, ended Wednesday in a 14-4 loss to Dillon High in the third round of the Lower State playoffs.
For the second year in a row, Barnwell High's travel to the state finals hit a roadblock named Dillon High.
Last season, the Lady Warhorses' season ended in a 8-2 loss to Dillon High at Lower State.
"We played hard, but we made too many mistakes. When you play at this level of competition, there's not a lot of room for error," Barnwell High coach Carol Massengale said.
"Overall, I'm extremely pleased with our effort and accomplishments this season. We clearly disappointed in the loss today, but we fell to a very good and talented Dillon team."
In the contest, the Lady Wildcats of Dillon High seized the momentum early on with a big five-run second inning. Shaquailla German of Dillon High highlighted the inning with a two-run RBI double.
Trailing 6-0, the Lady Warhorses mounted a rally in the bottom of the fourth inning to narrow the lead at 6-4.
For the Lady Warhorses, Kaylie Pridgen, Kelci Brown, Rebekah Debruhl and Taylor Buckmon all singled and scored.
Lake Pritchard delivered the big hit in the inning with a two-run RBI single to deep center field. Kyra Shuler also reached base on a single in the inning.
After watching their six-run lead evaporate, the Lady Wildcats took control. Sparked by a two-run RBI double by Rebecca Callahan, the Lady Wildcats plated two runs in the fifth inning for a 8-4 lead. Two innings later, the team added five more runs to put the game away.
Despite the loss, several players stood out defensively for the Lady Warhorses.
With two outs and runners on second and third base, second baseman Rachael Creech had to lunging catch on a pop fly to end the fourth inning.
One inning later, Gillie Smith made a tough over-the-shoulder catch to end another scoring threat. Centerfielder Victoria Schatzer hauled in a fly ball at the warning track to keep the Lady Wildcats on the scoreboard.
Despite the loss, Barnwell High turned in a productive season. With five new starters, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Lady Warhorses.
The newcomers, however, grew up in a hurry and helped lead the Lady Warhorses to their second straight District V title.
"At the beginning of the season I couldn't image we would get this far. I couldn't be more proud of a group of girls," Massengale said. "We knew coming in we had to come out strong against Dillon. We battled, we fought, we clawed. However, we ended up coming up a little short tonight."
Barnwell High will lose three seniors. The All-Region players pitcher are Rebekah Debruhl, shortstop Gillie Smith and centerfielder Victoria Schatzer.
"I've been with this group of seniors for a very long time. They meant a lot to our program's success over the years. Their leadership, hardwork and dedication will be missed," said Massengale.
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