The Lake View softball team took a 3-1 home win against East Clarendon on Friday night, in front of a near-capacity crowd, to take the Class A Lower State title game.
Lake View will begin the best-of-three state championship series in Chesterfield on Monday at 6 p.m. Game two will be at Lake View on Wednesday.
The Lady Gators (now 26-4 overall) struck early for the runs they would need to edge out a win against the Lady Wolverines (20-5 final record).
Amber Suggs collected 10 strikeouts to get the win and push her season record to 19-0, as she allowed no walks and just 5 hits.
Helping her cause, Suggs doubled in Chessie Miller and Avonlea Cooke in the second inning, giving Lake View a 2-0 lead.
Pinch runner Mariah Thompson then scored on a wild pitch in the third inning, giving the Lady Gators a 3-0 lead, before Kristan McElveen gave EC its only run with a fourth-inning solo home run.
EC senior pitcher Sloane Welsh collected 7 strikeouts, against 2 walks and 6 hits, as she shouldered the loss in the circle.
Meanwhile on Friday, Dillon softball saw its dream season come to an end at Waccamaw in a 10-0 loss.
Dillon won its first region title and district title in program history this season, as the Lady Cats (18-7 final record) went farther in postseason play than any of Dillon’s previous gold-and-black softball team.
Waccamaw senior Ashley Czechner (25-0 record this season) continued to show that she is one of the elite pitchers in South Carolina, collecting 13 strikeouts in the 5-inning contest.
The only baserunners Dillon was able to muster came on a Shayna Covington game-opening walk and on a Shaquailla German 2-out single in the second inning. From there, Czechner held the Lady Cats at bay on offense.
Three Dillon errors hurt the cause of trying to win and force a second game on the night, which would have given the Lady Cats a shot at bringing home a Lower State title.
The Lady Warriors got their offense throughout the lineup, as they got 13 hits and 3 walks off of Dillon senior pitcher Lauren Bailey. Czechner led the way, going 3-for-3 with 3 doubles, 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs, including the final 2 runs of the game on a 2-out double. Tricia Hood also went 3-for-3, with 3 runs.
Nikki Legg went 2-for-3 with 2 runs, while Sam Homan went 2-for-3, and Melaina Moore went 1-for-2 with a double and 2 runs.
Waccamaw (ranked No. 2 in the state and carrying a 32-0 season record) will play host to Upper State champion, defending state champion and current top-ranked Class 2A team Crescent on Monday in the first game of the best-of-three state championship series. Waccamaw won 30 straight games last season before losing 2 games to Crescent in the title series.
Game stories will be printed in Tuesday’s edition of The Dillon Herald.