Dee Dee Sullivan smashed a grand slam home run and Amanda Storch pitched a complete game to lead the top-ranked Mauldin Mavericks to a 9-4 win over the Northwestern Trojans in the Class AAAA Upper State playoffs at Northwestern on Monday night.
Sullivan’s grand slam was the big hit in a six-run second inning that gave the Mavericks, ranked No. 7 in the country by Max Preps, an early cushion.
The Mavericks got base hits from Cheyenne Galli and Chiara Steffan, and took advantage of four walks in the second inning. Sullivan’s home run over the centerfield wall capped the outburst.
Storch scattered five hits in improving her record to 25-0. She breezed through the first three innings, allowing a single and two walks, but Northwestern got to her in the fourth.
The Trojans scored three times to cut the deficit to 6-3. Cassie Wancheck and Meredith Cudd walked to open the frame. Tiana Lewter’s sacrifice bunt was misplayed, and the throwing error allowed both Wancheck and Cudd to score.
Brooke Foster’s perfectly executed squeeze bunt plated Lewter, and the Trojans were back in the game.
Mauldin got three in the top of the fifth, however, to make it 9-3. A double by Hanna Pullias and Galli’s single put runners at the corners. After two were out, Emma Swearingen’s home run capped the inning.
The Trojans rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Daina Chase singled to get the rally started. After one out, Rachel Marion walked and Cassie Wancheck singled to load the bases.
Cudd’s single scored Chase to make it 9-4, but Storch struck out the last two batters to end the game and send the Mavericks against Byrnes on Tuesday.
Northwestern fell into the loser’s bracket with the loss. The Trojans will host Clover at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“We will come back,” said Northwestern head coach Bryan Smith. “We lost our opening game to Lugoff-Elgin last week, and came back.”
Tuesday’s game will be the third of the year between Clover and Northwestern, with the Trojans winning both games.
“We are very familiar with Clover,” said Smith. “They are a very good team. All of our games against them the last three years have been very close. I expect more of the same when we play them on Tuesday.”
The loser of the Northwestern-Clover game will be eliminated from the playoffs.
“We have our backs to wall,” said Smith. “So does Clover, but I am confident that we will be ready.”
Mauldin 9, Northwestern 3