Clover advances to Upper State championship finals

05/15/2014 7:30 AM

05/15/2014 7:31 AM

The Mauldin Mavericks suffered a 3-2 home loss against the Clover Blue Eagles in Wednesday night’s Class AAAA Upper State Tournament elimination game.

“The last two ball games we were unable to put runs on the board,” said Mauldin coach Rhonda McCauley. “We just didn’t get the base hits we needed.”

Mauldin (25-2) suffered its first loss of the year, 4-2, against Byrnes on Tuesday night and looked to rebound against Clover.

The Mavericks first offensive opportunity came in the second inning with the score tied 0-0.

Catcher Kaitlyn Wagers drew a walk to start off the inning. Sisters Christina Storch and Amanda Storch recorded back-to-back singles loading the bases with no outs in the inning.

However, Clover pitcher Elizabeth Edmunds tallied consecutive strikeouts and collected the third out of the inning on a grounder.

The Blue Eagles tallied two runs in the third and tacked on an additional run in the fourth taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of fourth.

Mavericks’ first baseman Christina Storch cut the deficit to two with a home run that landed over the right centerfield fence in the bottom of the fourth.

“The home run should’ve been enough to spark our offense,” McCauley said.

Mauldin threatened again in the bottom of the sixth.

With two outs, Wagers drew a walk. The catcher advanced to second on a wild pitch. Christina Storch hit a screaming line drive toward second that went straight into the Clover defender’s glove.

The score remained 3-1 entering the bottom of the seventh.

Amanda Storch singled to give Mauldin a much-needed spark.

Hannah Pullias reached first on a rocket that bounced off of the third baseman’s glove. Haley Batson’s swinging bunt allowed Pullias and Storch to reach second and third, respectively.

After a strike out, Cheyenne Galli drew a walk to load the bases. After working the count to 3-2, Clover’s pitcher grazed the corner of the plate for the game-winning strike out.

“The girls didn’t give up even though we were down early,” said McCauley. “What we accomplished this year was really phenomenal.”

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