Fort Mill Sports

Fort Mill High softball team ranked No. 1 in S.C.

The Fort Mill High softball team is perfect in Region III-4A with three wins last week, including a 6-1 victory over rival Nation Ford.

And in one poll, the Jackets are now ranked No. 1 in the state.

Fort Mill also beat Northwestern 12-2, sweeping the season series, and beat Rock Hill 8-0, later in the week. Beating Northwestern, which knocked Fort Mill out of the playoffs last season, was one of the team’s goals this season, said head coach Chuck Stegall.

“They have owned us for the past six years,” Stegall said. “The girls set this as one of their goals for the year. We wanted to accomplish some goals early on because we tend to get stronger as the season goes on.”

Against Northwestern, Fort Mill scored a run every inning and was led by sophomore pitcher Bella Roy, who pitched five innings, and allowed six hits and two runs and earning six strike outs. At the plate, Fort Mill was led by senior Julia Rajcok, who went 3-4 with a triple and two RBIs and junior Peyton Ray, who went 1-2 with a triple and three RBIs.

Fort Mill jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but really lit things up in the second, scoring three runs on three hits. Roy’s triple scored two runs and Rajcok drove in another with a single.

Northwestern aided the Jackets by committing seven errors in the game. Fort Mill scored three more runs in the third inning without getting a hit.

Northwestern eased some of the bleeding in the fourth and fifth innings, by scoring a run in each. But defensively, they continued to struggle, giving up a total of seven hits in the fourth and fifth innings and made another error, all leading to five more Fort Mill runs.

Rajcok opened the fourth inning with a triple and was followed by singles from Kennedy Wolf and Lauren Collie. Sophomore Marissa McDermott singled to score Collie as Fort Mill pulled away from the Trojans.

In the fifth inning, Fort Mill added three more runs on three hits and an error to force the 10-run mercy rule against Northwestern.

Fort Mill has a busy schedule this week, with games at defending 4A state champion Clover and at home against Gaffney and Andrew Jackson.

Banks:, @MacBanksFM