Riding the momentum of a 10-0 win against York on Friday, the Clover High School softball team stepped out of the region Monday night, hosting Union as a tuneup for Thursday’s playoff opener at home.
Though the visiting Yellow Jackets prevailed 9-7, CHS head coach Shea Hall said she is confident the Clover team will bounce back.
“They’re a good team,” Hall said of Union. “They hit the ball well.”
Hall singled out the seventh-inning relief effort of Kayla Ogle.
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“It was nice to see Kayla come in for an inning,” said Hall. “We should’ve gotten her in earlier.”
“We’ve got a little more confidence in Kayla,” Hall said. “I think if we get into a similar situation, we have somebody we can go to that would maybe throw some people off.”
Hall praised Elizabeth Edmunds for gutting it out as she continues to battle the pain of a wrist injury.
“Elizabeth is pitching and hitting with pain,” Hall said before Friday’s York game.
“I feel okay about my pitching and hitting,” said Edmunds. “I’m ready to go and not think about the pain.”
Seniors Marisa Harkey and Blake Wallert said they are anticipating the playoffs; Harkey said all the players need to have each other’s back.
“If we make errors or don’t get the big hit, we need to pick that person up,” Harkey said. “I think when we have pitching, hitting and defense, no one can beat us.”
Wallert, a dangerous hitter all season, said the Blue Eagles are looking for everything once the playoffs begin: hitting, pitching and defense.
“At the beginning of the season, we had some one game and some others,” she said. “We’re starting to have all three together. You’ve got to play confident. If you don’t, you’re gonna get out.”
“Everybody’s got to be playing their best ball” for the playoffs, Hall said. “We’ve got to fine-tune some stuff. I think we’re in a good place. I think we’re geared up and ready for a playoff run.”
If the Blue Eagles are playing their best softball and living up to their expectations, Hall said, she doesn’t feel it matters about the seeding or the opponent.
“We’ve made a pretty good run in the playoffs the last two years,” she said.
The CHS girls advanced to the 4A upper state championship game last season, missing an opportunity to play for the state title by a run.
Clover will host a first-round playoff game Thursday in a double-elimination playoff series.
The opponent and starting time had not been determined when the Enquirer-Herald deadline was met Tuesday.