Dogs End Lady Griffins’ Playoff Run

WINNSBORO (May 4, 2016) – The Fairfield Central Lady Griffins playoff run was dashed Friday night as they fell to the visiting Pendleton Bulldogs by the final of 8-2.

“It’s over; we needed to win this,” Griffins head coach Gwen Rouse said. “I feel like we really don’t know what type of team they were because we did not put the ball in play enough to know what type of team they were, but they gave it their all, they came here to win.”

Pendleton notched the first run on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second without even getting a hit. It was the Griffins’ two walks and two errors that allowed Bulldogs catcher Harper Cobb to cross home plate.

“They got down on themselves early in the game,” Rouse said. “This was probably the most errors we made all season for one game.”

The Griffins were unable to find any offensive footing for much of the night, and did not have a hit until left fielder Moesha Boyd picked up a two-out single in the third. Bulldog starter Cassidy Brown rang-up the next batter to make sure the single did not lead to a tie game.

Brown was dealing for most of the night. She went seven full innings, gave up four hits and only struck-out one, but held the hard-hitting Griffins offense to just two earned runs.

“We’ve seen way faster than that, we’ve hit the ball faster than that,” Rouse said. “Mid-Carolina was the best team we played all year, and we lost to them 4-0, so if we would have played like we did against Mid-Carolina we would have won today.”

From the first up until the fifth inning the game was shaping up to be a pitchers duel between Brown and Fairfield Central junior Trenatee Roberts, but things fell apart for the Lady Griffins in the fifth inning.

Again, errors came back to haunt the Griffins in that fifth inning, and the Bulldogs were able to get the bats going enough to stretch out their one-run lead. Avonte Dawson and Brown both scored on separate errors.

Roberts then walked another Bulldog to load the bases up for Julia Slice, who singled home a run to put a cap on the three-run inning. The Griffins gave up the three runs on two hits and two errors.

If the fifth inning rattled the Lady Griffins, then Pendleton came out in the sixth to deliver the knock-out blow. Bridget Darnes, one of Pendleton’s smallest players, showed off her wheels when she a ball hit in the gap in center, and then came all the way around for an inside the park home run.

The home run was just the beginning for the Bulldogs. Three other players tallied RBIs before the offensive outburst was over.

This left the Lady Griffins in an 8-0 hole going into the final inning, but they would not let Pendleton escape back to Anderson without putting up some type of fight.

After two quick groundouts the game was all but over when eighth-grader Kavona Rice came up to bat and delivered a two-strike single. An error on the next at-bat kept the Griffins and their playoffs hope alive; barely, but alive.

Amari Jones, the Griffins’ sophomore, collected two big RBIs on a single that finally put the Griffins on the scoreboard. Brown walked the next batter, Jameka Henderson, but a fly-out on the next at-bat ended Fairfield’s championship hopes.

“We lost the game because we didn’t hit,” Rouse said. “We can’t wait until the seventh inning to try to hit. Before that we might have had five baserunners, so if you only get five people on base, and you’re not moving around, then we’re not going to score.”

It was a long season for the Lady Griffins and coach Rouse recognized her team for the hard-fought season.

“Without a doubt I’m proud of the kids,” she said. “They played well, but our biggest downfall was we have a lot of kids that play another sport or do something else, so they don’t play travel ball.”

FC: 0-0-0-0-0-0-2 – 2-5-5

PH: 0-1-0-0-3-4-0 – 8-9-2

Pitching: FC- Trenatee Roberts (L), 7IP, 9H, 8R, 5ER, 4BB, 0K, 2WP. PH- Cassidy Brown (W), 7 IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 1K.

Hitting: 1B- Delexius Cloud, K. Rice, A. Jones (FC); Katie Cole (2), K. Gall, H. Cobb (PH). HR- Bridget Darnes (PH). RBI- A. Jones (2) (FC); B. Darnes, J. Slice, A. Hulme, C. Brown (PH).

LOB: FC-3, PH-9.