Eagles lose heartbreaker on senior night

Seniors, from left, Jennifer Haney, Gracie Atkerson, Jordan Rawl, Caleigh Caldwell, Emy Russell and Hannah Smith. | Photos: Martha Ladd

WINNSBORO – In their final regular-season battle, a rescheduled game with region foe King Academy, the Eagles headed to the seventh inning with the game all but sealed up at 10-3. The Knights would not bow out easily as they tied the game at 10 in the top of the seventh. The Eagles had no answer in the bottom of the frame, sending the game into extra innings.

Gracie Atkerson batted 2-5 in her final home game as an Eagle.

King blew past the Eagles in the top of the eighth with six more runs. Backs against the wall, the Eagles managed to put up four in the bottom of the frame, but could not overtake the lead and fell in a heartbreaking 16-14 season finale loss.

The Eagles took an early 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second when Riley Simpson’s RBI single scored Hannah Smith. They added another run in the third to go up 4-2.

Meredith Pope’s triple in the fourth ignited a slew of Eagle runs, and they took a 7-2 advantage.

The Knights found the plate in the top of the fifth to cut into the lead with a run, but the Eagles answered back in the bottom of the frame with two more.

Richard Winn’s defense looked solid through the first six innings, allowing only four hits and three runs.

The Knights’ rally in the sixth began with a hit batter, a single and three walked batters in a row. The eighth inning looked similar, as more runs were walked in for the Knights, coupled with a pair of hits, giving them the 16-10 lead.

The loss clinches a second-place region finish for Richard Winn.

The Eagles return to action in the SCISA Class 1A State Tournament at Patriot Park in Sumter this weekend. They will face off with St. John’s Christian Friday at 5 p.m. in the double-elimination tournament.