Clover’s win and Lewisville’s loss Wednesday night forced decisive Game 3s in the 4A softball and 1A baseball state championship series, set for Friday night.
Lewisville vs. Latta
▪ Cheraw High School is hosting the decisive game in the 1A baseball state championship series, with a 7 p.m. opening pitch. According to Google Maps, Cheraw is 1 hour, 24 minutes from Richburg, and 56 minutes from Latta. Tickets are $6.
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▪ Don’t be surprised to see the Vikings trot out J.K. Love as their starting pitcher. The College of Charleston signee struggled Monday night against Lewisville after pitching quite a bit in the previous week. But he should be good to go on three days rest Friday night.
▪ Lions third baseman Denver Moseley is 3-for-5 at the plate in the first two games of the series. Latta’s Love is 3-for-8 to lead the Vikings.
▪ Remaining level-headed after losing Wednesday will be key for Lewisville. “I looked up this morning and the sun came up,” said Lewisville coach Billy Keels, grinning. “I thought Armageddon was coming after what happened last night. We’re gonna be okay.”
▪ Lewisville will be going for its seventh state championship; Latta won seven baseball state titles before the schools were integrated, but hasn’t won any since the mid-1960s.
Clover vs. Summerville
▪ Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field (University of South Carolina) is hosting the game. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. opening pitch; general admission tickets are $8 and are on-sale at Clover High School until noon Friday, or at the gate at Carolina Softball Stadium. The team will leave from Clover at 1:30 p.m., and fans and supporters are encouraged to cheer the team on as they travel down highways 55 and 274 to make their way to I-77.
▪ Summerville softball coach Heather Tucker floated the possibility of playing at Carolina Softball Stadium if a third game was required. Clover athletic director Carroll Hester closed the deal on Thursday morning, according to Blue Eagles coach Shea Hall.
▪ Hall doesn’t think the weight of playing at the Gamecocks’ stadium will bother her players: “A lot of these girls play a lot in the summer and they’ve played at Winthrop and USC Upstate, so they’ve played at some college fields. And a lot of these girls are Gamecock fans, so I feel sure these girls are really excited. We may have a few little nerves but we’re gonna try to get there early tomorrow, just kind of walk around a little bit and feel our way out.”
▪ Clover’s offense drew plaudits all season, but pitcher Elizabeth Edmunds has been excellent in the postseason. She labored earlier in the year with wrist tendonitis, but has allowed just seven runs in seven playoffs games.
▪ Neither Clover nor Summerville has ever won a softball state title.
Bret McCormick • 803-329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T