After losing six starters to graduation, Lewisville’s run of region and district softball championships may have been in peril in some folks’ eyes.
But even with just four seniors, the Lions romped through Region 3-A undefeated and on Wednesday night blasted Whitmire 13-4 to win a third district title in as many years.
“Didn’t know how it was gonna turn out,” said Lewisville coach Jerry Thomas, who has engineered the rejuvenation of a Lions’ program that hadn’t won a region since 1993 before two years ago. “I thought my young talent was gonna be good, just needed time to see.”
Lewisville will play on the road in the first game of the Upper State championship this weekend, before playing the second game at home in a pre-set tournament format dictated by the South Carolina High School League.
On Wednesday, the Lions (21-4) fell behind Whitmire 2-0 in the first, but their prolific offense ensured that was not nearly enough of a cushion for the visiting Hurricanes (10-12).
“They can hit the ball,” said Whitmire coach Andrew Campbell. “Top of their order is really strong. We knew we had to score runs coming into it.”
Lewisville’s roster may be younger, but it still hits like it has the past two years. Two of the four seniors, No. 2 hitter Autumn Jordan and No. 3 hitter Ta’Mya Davis, combined to go 7-for-9 with two triples and six RBIs to spur the onslaught.
“We’re very confident in each other,” said Davis. “If somebody doesn’t get a hit then the next person behind them is gonna get that hit to make up for it.”
Rebecca Glymph’s RBI double off Lions starting pitcher Madison Vinson opened the scoring in the first inning and she came home thanks to an error to put Whitmire, wearing yellow and blue just like Lewisville, in front 2-0.
It proved to be a false dawn for the Hurricanes, though.
The hosts halved the deficit with an RBI single from Amber Bass in the bottom of the first, and took the lead with four runs in the third frame. Jordan singled and Davis knocked her in, before an error by Whitmire’s second baseman led to two more runs and a 4-2 Lions’ lead.
“It kind of unraveled from there, but that was a seventh grader that made that error,” said Campbell. “She’s gonna be a good ball player; she’s just got to get in front of it.”
Stacy Rollins added an RBI single to make it 5-2 headed to the fourth when Thomas’ team tacked on three more with the flood gates fully opened. Codi Horne walked and Jordan ripped a triple to the left field wall to score the run. Davis then followed her smash sister with a triple of her own to score Jordan and make it 7-2.
“Especially my top six, seven batters, they can hit when it’s on the line,” said Thomas. “They usually come through.”
Lewisville added two and three runs in the next two innings, narrowly missing a 10-run rule win in the sixth, before Vinson closed the game out with no problem in the seventh. The Lions added one more notch to their unbeaten run at home in regular season and postseason play that dates back to 2013. Now they’ll try and win an Upper State championship.
Lewisville 13, Whitmire 4
WP- Madison Vinson; LP- Alana Moss.
Leading hitters: Lewisville- Autumn Jordan 4-5, 3 RBI; Ta’Mya Davis 3-4, BB, 3B, 3 RBI; Amber Bass 2-2, HBP, RBI. Whitmire- Zavia Sanders 3-4; Rebecca Glymph 1-4, 2 RBI; Kalyn Roche 2-3; Bethany Cromer 2-3, 2B.
Records: Lewisville 21-4; Whitmire 10-12.