Clover softball accepts state championship trophy
Clover wins District I crown
Everything was in place for Tiffany Domingue to be the hero. Two runners in scoring position, bottom of the seventh inning in the District 1 championship game against Mauldin, her Clover team trailing 2-1 with two outs.
After the game, Clover softball coach Shea Hall called Domingue the best player she’s ever coached -- which anyone that’s familiar with Clover softball knows is a big compliment. This moment was made for the red-haired senior shortstop who has batted .500 or better each of the last three seasons. A third Clover out would mean a second game, with the winner taking the district.
The Mauldin pitch plunked Domingue in the hip. And the moment became Jenna Venturelli’s.
The first baseman blooped a hit toward the right side of the infield, where two Mauldin defenders bumped into each other. The ball fell to the ground in fair grass, two Blue Eagles scored and Clover completed a very unlikely-looking comeback win.
“Just stayed the course,” said Hall. “In my mind, I already know who I’m starting Game 2, and hoping we can carry that momentum into Game 2. But this crowd just kept fighting. I always tell them too, it does not have to be Tiff (Domingue) being the hero. Put it in play and force somebody to do something.”
Hall sighed, then smiled.
Clover is back in the Upper State championship after a one-year hiatus.
The Blue Eagles, 2015 state champs, had a difficult reloading season last year, only winning single-digit games. They’ve tripled their win-total in 2019, despite having just three seniors. Hall said she’s relishing the experience more than she has in the past, a product of a humbling 2018 season.
“This crowd’s worked hard,” she said. “Last year’s not success has fueled us. This team’s on a mission. Let’s go play.”
For six and a half innings against Mauldin, Clover was the inferior team. They were fortunate on multiple occasions to keep the Mavericks off the scoreboard, the Blue Eagles and catcher Brie Berry winning four duels at the plate with Mauldin runners.
Mauldin scored once in the first and sixth innings for a 2-0 cushion heading to the bottom of the seventh.
But the Blue Eagles flipped the switch in the seventh. Sophia Sprouse singled, Ally Clapp slap-singled and the two advanced on a ground-out, the second out of the inning. Dakota Peters got the first big hit of the inning, an RBI shot into the gap, which left plenty of drama for Domingue and Venturelli.
Clover is 18-8 overall and opens 5A Upper State Tournament Friday at Byrnes.
Fort Mill wins District III championship
The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets topped Boiling Springs 5-2 to win the 5A District III championship Wednesday afternoon at Fort Mill.
Emily Harris drove in the first run for the Jackets in the bottom of the second as they took a 1-0 lead. Boiling Springs tallied twice in the sixth for a 2-1 lead, but Fort Mill rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the victory.
Reagan Smith drove in the tying run in the four-run rally, and Emma Tisdale sent the crowd a few minutes later with a three-run home run.
Fort Mill is 19-5 overall. They will play at home against Hillcrest on Saturday in the opening round of the Upper State Tournament.
Belton-Honea Path 2, York 0
Belton-Honea Path scored two runs in the second inning and made them stand up for a 2-0 win over the York Cougars in the 4A District III championship game Wednesday afternoon at Belton-Honea Path.
Kaiden Quinn led the Cougars with two hits and Ally Morales and Bre Moss added one hit each to the five-hit attack.
York finished the season with an overall record of 15-11.
Blue Ridge 16, Lancaster 1
Blue Ridge blasted the Lancaster Bruins 16-1 to win the 4A District II Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Blue Ridge.
The Bruins finished the season with a record of 13-6.
Indian Land wins District IV title
The Indian Land Warriors defeated Woodruff 13-1 in the second game of a doubleheader to win the 3A District IV title Wednesday at Indian Land.
The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Peyton Darnell. They added two runs in the second, third, and fifth frames and closed out the contest with a six-run outburst in the sixth.
Darnell led the offense with three hits and three RBI. Kendall Mallekoote added a grand slam home run.
Hurst pitched a complete game and struck out six to earn the victory.
Woodruff won the first game 9-6 to force the second contest.
Woodruff scored four runs in the first for a 4-0 lead, but the Warriors rallied and took a 5-4 lead after two frames. Woodruff countered with two in the third for a 6-5 lead, but Indian Land scored in the sixth to tie it at 6-6. Woodruff scored three times in the top of the eighth to claim the victory.
Lexis Wilkinson led Indian Land in the first game with two hits.
Indian Land is 18-4 on the year and will host Union County in the first round of the Upper State tournament on Friday.
Ninety-Six 4, Lewisville 3
Ninety-Six scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh and defeated the Lewisville Lions 4-3 to win the 2A District I championship Wednesday afternoon at Ninety-Six.
The Lions finish the season with an overall record of 11-10.
Region 3-5A team announced
The 3-5A All-Region team has been announced and Clover’s Tiffany Domingue headlines the outstanding unit as the Player of the Year.
Joining Domingue on the team from Clover are Abbie Welborn, Kalia Caviness, Dakota Petters, and Jenna Venturelli. The Fort Mill Yellow Jackets were represented by Emma Tisdale, Payton Lemire, Aleah Roy, Bryn Bartolini and Reagan Smith. Janelle Ilacqua, Amaya Hush, and MacKenzie Gaston were selected from the Nation Ford Falcons. Isabell Shellnut and Skyler Smith were picked from the Northwestern Trojans, and Reese Therrell of the Rock Hill Bearcats completed the team.
Craig Brown of Nation Ford was chosen as the Coach of the Year.
Which local girl track and field athletes are state title contenders?
Blythewood 13, Fort Mill 3
Blythewood took a 7-2 lead after one inning and claimed a 13-3 victory over the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets in the first round of the 5A Upper State Tournament at Blythewood Thursday night.
Blythewood added four more in the third and closed out the game with a pair of runs in the fifth.
Alan Stevens led the Yellow Jackets with three hits. J. T. Marr added two hits and drove in a pair of runs.
The Yellow Jackets are 26-3 and will play at Dorman on Saturday in an Upper State elimination game.
Which local boy track and field athletes could win state championships in the next week?
York County Soccer Hall of Fame to induct first class in August
The York County Soccer Hall of Fame is in the process of notifying its first five inductees that they’ll be recognized Aug. 31, 2019. The hall’s first ceremony will be held at the Courtyard Marriott-Kingsley in Fort Mill, from 6 p.m. to 9.
Former Winthrop men’s soccer coach Rich Posipanko said he was approached several years ago by some York County folks interested in launching a hall of fame specifically for soccer. When the group finally met in recent months, it only took about two weeks for the whole plan to form. And it didn’t take them long to put together a list of 100 potential candidates (players, coaches and teams), which suggested to organizers that it was a legitimate undertaking.
“We felt there was a need to showcase our successes, and to promote the game in the county,” Posipanko said Friday. “The 20 years, it’s come unbelievably far. The last 15 has been crazy.”
Posipanko said that organizers are considering options for where to recognize inductees, potentially at Manchester Meadows.
The five inductees are being revealed during the next few weeks on the soccer hall of fame’s web site and social media accounts. Additionally, the hall of fame will recognize “teams of distinction” at each of its future induction ceremonies, local club or high school teams that won state championships in the preceding year(s).
Tickets to the first induction ceremony cost $45 and can be purchased at YorkCountySoccerHOF.com, or by calling 803-524-2501.
Clover 3, Wade Hampton 0
The Clover Blue Eagles defeated Wade Hampton 3-0 in the second round of the 5A playoffs Wednesday night at Clover.
The Blue Eagles led 1-0 at halftime and pulled away with a pair of second half goals to secure the victory.
Clover is 17-2-1 overall and will host Mauldin in the third round on Saturday.
J. L. Mann 3, Fort Mill 0
J. L. Mann defeated the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets 3-0 in the second round of the 5A playoffs at J. L. Mann Wednesday night.
The Yellow Jackets finished the season with a overall mark of 13-4-2.
South Pointe 3, Wren 1
The South Pointe Stallions defeated Wren 3-1 in the second round of the 4A playoffs Wednesday night at South Pointe.
The Stallions took a 1-0 lead at halftime and added two more goals in the second half for the victory. Zoe Kennedy scored South Pointe’s first half goal, and she added another in the second half for a 2-0 cushion. Ava Robitaille got the final goal to make it 3-0, before Wren got its only score late in the contest.
South Pointe is 11-1 overall and will host A. C. Flora on Saturday in the third round of play.
Eastside 2, York 0
Eastside scored two goals in the second half and topped the York Cougars 2-0 in the second round of the 4A playoffs Wednesday night at Eastside.
The Cougars finished the season with an overall record of 14-7-1.
Indian Land 2, Mid-Carolina 0
The Indian Land Warriors took a 2-0 lead at intermission and topped Mid-Carolina 2-0 n the second round of the 3A playoffs Wednesday night at Indian Land.
Tatiana Ramierez and Shelby Ryberg scored the goals for the Warriors. Reagan Hunter added an assist for Indian Land. Serenity Collier was in the goal for the Warriors. She had six saves and recorded the shutout.
Indian Land is 12-10 overall and will travel to Powdersville on Friday for the third round of play.
Clover 2, Wade Hampton 1
The Clover Blue Eagles nipped Wade Hampton 2-1 in overtime in the second round of the 5A playoffs Thursday night at Clover.
The Blue Eagles led 1-0 at intermission, but Wade Hampton scored in the second half to send it to overtime. Clover’s Brandon Malcolm scored in the first overtime session to get the win.
The Blue Eagles are 25-1 and will host Mauldin on Saturday in the third round.
J. L. Mann 3, Rock Hill 0
J. L. Mann took a 2-0 lead at halftime and topped the Rock Hill Bearcats 3-0 in the second round of the 5A playoffs Thursday night at J. L. Mann.
Rock Hill ends its season with an overall mark of 13-7-1.
Greenwood 2, Nation Ford 1
Greenwood edged the Nation Ford Falcons 2-1 on penalty kicks in the second round of the 5A playoffs Thursday night at Nation Ford.
Greenwood led 1-0 at halftime, but Patrick Bradley scored for the Falcons in the second half to send it to overtime. After a scoreless overtime session, Greenwood won the battle on penalty kicks.
Nation Ford ends the season with an overall record of 15-6.
Mauldin 2, Fort Mill 1
Mauldin broke a 1-1 tie at halftime and edged the Fort Mill Yellow Jackets 2-1 in the second round of the 5A playoffs Thursday night at Mauldin.
Fort Mill finishes the campaign with an overall record of 10-9.
Eastside 4, Lancaster 0
Eastside scored a pair of goals in each half and toppled the Lancaster Bruins 4-0 in the second round of the 4A playoffs Thursday night at Eastside.
The Bruins finished the season with an overall record of 10-9.
Indian Land 3, Mid-Carolina 0
The Indian Land Warriors took a 2-0 lead at halftime and toppled Mid-Carolina 3-0 in the second round of the 3A playoffs Thursday night at Indian Land.
The Warriors are 17-7 overall on the year and will play at Seneca on Saturday in the third round of action.