Without even throwing a pitch, the Fort Mill Lady Jackets softball team advanced in the District I playoffs after taking a forfeit from Mauldin.
A representative from Mauldin let Fort Mill head coach Chuck Stegall know Friday, just six hours before the game, that the team wouldn’t be coming to play.
“They said they had some injuries and other issues,” Stegall said.
Officially, Mauldin Athletic Director Steve Frady said, via e-mail, that “due to numerous injuries, sickness, girls with a previous engagements, and one disciplinary suspension, Mauldin High will not be able to continue in the softball playoffs. We will have to forfeit our game this evening (May 1) against Fort Mill.”
Fort Mill advances to play the loser of the Laurens/Byrnes game on the road Monday.
Fort Mill lost to Byrnes 5-2 in the opening round of the playoffs. Byrnes scored two runs in the bottom of the second to take an early lead, but the Lady Jackets came back in the top of the fourth to score a run and cut that lead in half.
However, in the bottom of the fourth things really got wild for Fort Mill as Byrnes scored three runs off starter Bella Roy. Roy took the loss, but allowed just five hits in the game and was hurt by two Fort Mill errors.
“You take away two mistakes and we are up 3-2,” Stegall said.
Either way, Fort Mill must continue to win in the double-elimination District I tournament format. The Lady Jackets, with one loss already, will be on the road the remainder of the District playoffs at either Laurens or Byrnes again.
If Fort Mill makes it to the District I championship, they will have to sweep both games of a doubleheader to advance to the Upper State bracket.