The York Comprehensive High School softball team entered Friday’s game in Clover with renewed confidence: The Lady Cougars had extended title-contending Northwestern in a narrow 2-0 loss earlier in the season.
York played with swagger early, building a 2-0 lead, but the Lady Blue Eagles stormed back by the end of the game to defeat the Cougars 12-2.
York’s Brooke Andrews, who made her presence felt by going 3-for-3 at the plate, opened the game with a bunt single in the top of the first inning. She was stranded, however, when Clover pitcher Elizabeth Edmunds retired the next three batters.
The top of the second was a different story, as York rose to the occasion with two outs.
Sophomore shortstop Cayla Campbell walked with two out to keep the inning alive. Taylor Clabough stepped to the plate and delivered a single, leaving runners at first and second.
Senior mainstay Brooke Ramsey’s fly ball to right field dropped for a hit, sending Campbell across the plate with the game’s first run.
Andrews executed a well-placed bunt and scored Clabough from third for a 2-0 York lead.
The visiting Cougars had another scoring opportunity in the top of the third after Rachel Petty led off with a single. Later, with two outs, junior Megan Sutphin singled to put York runners at first and second.
Clover center fielder Brittany Rhinehardt ended the threat by making a play on a hard-hit ball by Campbell to end the inning.
York created another scoring opportunity in the top of the fourth inning. After Andrews and senior Mattie Ballard got back-to-back singles, Petty walked to load the bases with two outs.
Edmunds again shut down a potential rally, however, and Clover regained the lead and sealed the win with scoring in the fourth and fifth innings.
“We lost to a good team,” said York head coach Susan Lee Ballard. “We played well in the early innings and had the lead. Clover started hitting the ball and pulled away.”
Ballard said the Cougars still have opportunities to turn the season around. “We have a good many region games remaining with the opportunity to make things happen,” she said.
York travels to South Pointe in Rock Hill at 7 p.m. Thursday to battle the Lady Stallions.