The York Comprehensive High School softball team has played with renewed confidence in several preseason scrimmages recently.
“We want to continue to improve,” said head coach Susan Lee Ballard after the Lady Cougars defeated Rock Hill in a scrimmage last week. “We play in a competitive region, and we know this team can compete.”
Ballard’s hopes of a successful season became more than a vision when York won the Beat Cancer with a Bat Tournament hosted by North Central High School last week.
The Cougars were a dominant force in Saturday’s tournament championship game with Richland Northeast, winning 13-3.
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Marissa Jackson, who picked up her second win of the tournament, had another solid pitching performance. Megan Sutphin and Cayla Campbell had extra-base hits to lead the team’s offensive surge.
The Cougars left their calling card in the first game of the North Central tournament by defeating Richland Northeast 14-3.
Taylor Wilkerson was the winning pitcher, keeping the Richland Northeast batters in check with a one-hitter. Wilkerson had plenty of support, as York battters collected 12 hits.
Marissa Jackson doubled and Madeline Davis tripled to lead the hitting barrage. Brooke Andrews, Mattie Ballard, Nora Childers, Sutphin and Davis each had two hits in three at-bats.
The Cougars withstood a stern challenge from North Central in the second game, defeating the host 8-6, with Jackson picking up the win.
York sent five runs across the plate in the fourth inning to seal the win and remain unbeaten in the tournament.
Sutphin had two RBIs to tie the game, and Childers belted a triple to send the go-ahead run across the plate.
Rachel Petty, Ballard and Ramsey each finished with two hits in as many at-bats.
Game three proved the most exciting game of the tournament, a 5-4 win by the Cougars in which they came from behind for the win.
Sutphin, Childers and Jackson played huge roles in the final-inning rally.
Sutphin got things started with a single. Childers, a power hitter who was all-region as a sophomore, drilled a double.
This set the stage for Jackson who doubled home the winning run.
Wilkerson picked up the win with another stellar pitching performance.
The Cougars will host cross-county rival Fort Mill at 7 p.m. Thursday.