The Clover softball team rallied in the middle innings and the Blue Eagles’ defense settled down in a 4-1 win over the Summerville Green Wave on Wednesday night in front of a large crowd at Clover.
The win forces a decisive third game in this very evenly-matched series Friday night at 6 p.m. on the University of South Carolina’s softball field in Columbia.
“I didn’t know a lot tonight, but I knew we’d have a good crowd,” Clover coach Shea Hall said. “And I think it helps us so we’re going to try and get as many of them on the road with us Friday as we can.”
The game was much like Game 1 in reverse as the Blue Eagles held a 1-0 lead most of that game until the late innings. The Wave led this one 1-0 until the fourth.
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“I told them the other night that this was not going to be easy,” Hall said. “We’re going to have to be willing to dig in and fight.”
The Clover defense was shaky early on and allowed the Green Wave to take an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The first batter of the game reached on a throwing error by Blue Eagle shortstop Marisa Harkey and later stole second with two outs. Sarah Windham hit a roller down the third-base line that looked like it could have been fielded but squirted by and into left field to score the runner from second.
“We had a couple little mishaps at the beginning but then we were able to put the ball in play and force them to make mistakes,” Hall said. “Elizabeth was good tonight in the circle and we got a little momentum back from them. But I just now told them it’s a war. We won the first battle and they won the second battle. We’re excited about the position we’re in.”
Clover did not get its first baserunner until the fourth inning when Blake Wallert led off with a solid line drive to left. Tiffany Domingue, who was 2-for-3, followed with a bunt that she beat out for a base hit. The throw from the catcher to first base was wild and the runners advanced. Wallert had stopped at third, but the throw back in from right field was over the catcher’s head and Wallert raced home to tie the score.
Two outs and two walks later, Shania Domingue grounded to short and beat the throw to first to allow her sister to score and give the home team the 2-1 lead.
“The other night we couldn’t get a runner over and tonight we scored one with a bunt and got a runner to third,” Hall said.
The Blue Eagles added some insurance in the fifth when the Wave made some defensive mistakes of their own. With two out, Tiffany Domingue singled to center and Harkey doubled down the right field line to put two runners in scoring position. Katie Robinson grounded to second, but the throw was wide of first and both runners scored to make it 4-1.
In the sixth, Summerville got their first hits since the first inning but Clover pitcher Elizabeth Edmunds stranded runners on first and second with a strikeout and a fly to center. Between the first and sixth innings for the Green Wave, the only baserunner was the result of an error. The visitors got a one-out double in the seventh, but Edmunds finished strong with a strikeout to end the game and send the series to a winner-take-all Friday night. For the game, Edmunds allowed one unearned run on four hits and struck out five with no walks.
Clover 4, Summerville 1
Elizabeth Edmunds. Summer Jenkins. WP - Edmunds. LP - Jenkins. 2B - Marisa Harkey (CL), Victoria Norris (SV). Leading hitters: CL - Tiffany Domingue 2-3, 2 R; Marisa Harkey 1-2, 2B, BB, R.