Barnwell outlasts Bamberg in Darlings’ shootout

  • Barnwell Darling All-Star Tanner Shaw. left, tags out a Bamberg base runner in Saturday’s softball tournament.

Fans got their money’s worth in Saturday’s opening round of the Darlings District VI All-Star game between Barnwell and Bamberg.

In what turned into a wild scoring affair with three lead changes in the final two innings, Barnwell outlasted Bamberg for a 13-12 victory.

The game was filled with fireworks with big hits and defensive plays by both teams. Barnwell, however, proved to be more resilient at the end.

Tied at 12-12 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Shelby Heltibridle scored the winning run off a RBI single from Sariah Ford.

For Barnwell Darlings All-Star coach Chad Vanacore, the game was a roller coaster ride of emotions.

“This was a tough game,” Vanacore said. “We had the momentum early, then we went into a cold spell. They came back to take the lead, but we were able to make a few plays at the end to secure the victory.”

Bamberg All-Star coach Chad Johnson said he’s proud of the way his team fought back.

“I’m very proud of my girls. We overcame the weather delay and made a game of it and nearly pulled it off,” Johnson said.

It was all Barnwell at the start of the game.

Fueled by singles from Tanner Shaw, Libby Vanacore, Kendall O’Berry and Jayda Jackson, the Barnwell All-Stars put on a hitting exhibition in its first at-bat with nine runs to open the game.

Also scoring in the inning were Sariah Ford, Klaytin Helmick, Braelynn Edwards, Jakaiya Bryant and Kinlee Ray.

Trailing by 10 runs after two innings, it seemed as if the game was over. However, that wasn’t the case for the Bamberg All-Stars.

Highlighted by doubles from Reeves Johnson and Brantley Brown, Bamberg answered with nine runs off five hits to narrow the lead to 10-9.

Players scoring in the inning included Cameron Gunnells, Maddy McCully, KeyAunijanay Corbit, Harlo Sease, Mckinnley Beard, Sarah Reddish and Indya Wilson.

In the fourth inning, Bamberg took its first lead of the game when Reeves Johnson belted a two-run homer for an 11-10 advantage.

After Barnwell surged back ahead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Bamberg came back in the fifth inning to tie the game at 12-12 off a run by McKinnley Beard.

The tie score was short-lived. Moments later, Barnwell responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to close out the game.