Riding the momentum of Monday’s 4-1 conquest of Boiling Springs, the CHS girls are primed for Friday’s Upper State final.
Clover will face the survivor of Wednesday’s showdown between Northwestern and Boiling Springs. The game time had not been determined as of the Enquirer-Herald deadline.
“We’ve been pretty good as of late with two-out hits,” said head coach Shea Hall after the game. “Sometimes when you get those big hits, you can overcome a lot of mistakes.”
Clover and Boiling Sprigs were deadlocked at 1-1 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, with each team manufacturing a run against pitching from the Blue Eagles’ Elizabeth Edmunds and the Bulldogs’ Mckenna Quinn.
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With two outs, Missy Mavrogian lifted a single to right field, scoring Marisa Harkey, who had singled to left field.
Edmunds joined the two-out hit brigade with a two-run double to the left centerfield gap. “I thought it was gonna go over,” said Edmunds. “I was happy anyway. I got the two RBIs.”
Edmunds said the Clover team has to maintain its playoff mindset on Friday. “We’re gonna come out like we’ve been doing and keep playing like we have,” she said.
In addition to delivering the big two-out hit, Mavrogian made a circus catch in the top of the fifth that could have been a double or triple.
“I knew I had to get it,” Mavrogian said. “You have to get a good break on the ball in that situation. The catch was just as exciting as getting the big hit.”
Hall lauded Edmunds for another playoff performance on the mound and the clutch two-run double.
“Elizabeth doesn’t always get the respect she deserves,” said Hall. “That’s a high powered offense out there.”
Hall said remaining focused is a key as the stage widens.
“We’re trying to take one game at a time, just doing our thing and maybe we’ll earn a little respect along the way,” Hall said. “We’re in a good position and playing our best ball at the right time. That’s what it’s all about. I’m excited for the girls, for Clover and the student body.”
The atmosphere at the home playoff games is a sight to behold, with students lined up behind the outfield fence, a percussion group appealing to the fans and dugout players exhorting their teammates.
The Blue Eagles were firing on all cylinders in an 8-2 playoff win over Fort Mill on Friday.
Blake Wallert’s two-run single highlighted a four-runsecond inning and the Clover team sealed the win with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
“The way Elizabeth was throwing the ball, I didn’t anticipate Fort Mill having a big inning,” said Hall. “I’m proud of the way our girls came out and played.”
Hall added: “I’m not taking anything away from Fort Mill, beating us twice in the regular season, but we knew we didn’t play our best. I feel like we’re playing better ball now.”
Previously, Clover blanked Lugoff-Elgin 4-0, with Edmunds keeping the hitters in check.
Hannah Curtis delivered a timely two-run single in the bottom of the third.
“Their pitcher was pitching a lot to the inside and I like inside pitches,” said Curtis. “It felt awesome. I was dancing to first-base.”
Wallert, who plays second base, talked about the fan support.
“We have the best fans in the state,” she said. “Being at home and having all of these people supporting us is the best feeling. We’ve got to keep our head on our shoulders, stay confident and know we can do it.”
Hall spoke in glowing terms of her pitching ace and lauded the defensive play.
“Elizabeth was impressive and we played defense,” she said. “We left a ton of people on, but I’m gonna try to be positive and say we got a lot of people on base.”
Concluded Hall, “The two-out, two-run hit by Hannah was huge.”