USC Salkehatchie softball loses another close one

  • Maya McDaniels of USC-Salkehatchie scored two runs in Sunday’s game against Columbia College.

Don’t ask USC-Salkehatchie coach Kenneth Bellamy about the theme “close, but no cigar”. Bellamy knows that sports cliche all too well.

This season, the USC-Salkehatchie Lady Indians have lost five games in extra innings, including four in which they led going into the last inning.

“It’s hard when you lose close games, but it’s tougher when you lose like we’ve been lately,” Bellamy said. “We have a young group of players and they’re very hard workers. We’re just a play or three away from having five more wins under our belts.”

For Bellamy and his team, those growing pains continued against Columbia College Sunday on the reservation in Allendale.

The Lady Indians, who fell behind three runs early, rallied to cut the score 10-6 going into the their last at-bat.

In their final at-bat, the Lady Indians put a scare into the Lady Koalas of Columbia with runners at first and second with no outs.

The Lady Indians, however, failed to execute late once again. The next batter hit into a double play and the following hitter grounded out to end the game.

“I thought we had something going, then we lost the momentum just that quick. We’re a young group. We have to learn from this and get better,” Bellamy said.

In the game, the Lady Indians got behind the eight-ball right off the bat.

The Lady Koalas’ offense was running hot to open the game. Sparked by Kelsey Horne’s two-run RBI single, the Lady Koalas plated three runs in the first inning.

Down by three runs, the Lady Indians got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. For the team, Tasia Jackson reached on a single, then scored off a hit by Maya McDaniels.

One inning later, the Lady Indians drew closer. Kylie Kelley led with a walk, stole second base and scored off a sacrifice by Kelsey Alverson.

Leading 3-2, the Lady Koalas regained their hitting in the top of the third inning. Morgan Smith came through with fireworks at the plate when she delivered a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-2.

The runs kept coming for the Lady Koalas one inning later. Unfortunately for the Lady Indians’ pitching, it was deja vu again as Smith belted another two-run homer. Taylor Rawl also singled and scored in the inning to increase the lead to 10-2.

Trailing by eight runs, the Lady Indians climbed back into the game in the bottom half of the third inning.

The team reeled off three hits in the inning with Maya McDaniels, Morgan Foster and Sametra Duck singling and scoring to cut the lead to 10-5.

In the sixth inning, Maya McDaniels scored off a single by Haley Gowan to make the score 10-6. That, however, was as close as the Lady Indians would get.

For the game, Lynnsey Hanks picked up the win for the Lady Koalas. The River Bluff High product tossed a seven-hitter with four strikeouts and a walk.