Redhawk softball makes first playoff appearance in school history

COLUMBIA – Though their first playoff bid in school history didn’t end how they hoped, Westwood softball made a strong showing in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs.

Westwood landed a four-seed in the District IV tournament and faced top-ranked AC Flora for game one of the double-elimination tournament. The Redhawks battled Flora for the lead most of the game, but the Falcons rallied late to take the 5-3 win.

The Redhawks took an early lead 1-0 in the top of the first inning. With two outs in the frame, Olivia Burroughs walked and then advanced to third on a Koreena Scott single. Burroughs scored on an error by Flora shortstop before Erin Wilson ended the inning on a bunt.

Marlena Perez took the mound for Westwood and the Redhawks ended the inning quickly on three infield groundouts to keep the lead.

Westwood went up 2-0 in the top of the third when Emily Hedrick led off with a line-drive triple to right field. Scott singled again, this time to center, to score Hedrick, before Flora pitcher Makayla Bush ended the inning on a strikeout.

The bottom of the third saw the beginning of the end for the Redhawks as they plated three runs to take their first lead of the game. With one runner on third and two outs, a dropped third strike plated the first Falcon run and put a runner on first. Flora followed with an RBI double and another run on a passed ball before a pop out to second baseman Ashlyn Blackburn ended the inning with the Redhawks down 2-3.

Both teams were held scoreless until the Redhawks tied the score back up at three in the tip of the fifth. Hedrick reached first by error, advanced to third on a Taryn Jenkins bunt and scored on a wild pitch.

Flora rallied in the bottom of the sixth, plating two runs, to seal up the 5-3 win and send the Redhawks into a Saturday elimination game against Daniels High School.

The Redhawks headed to Pickens for an 11 a.m. battle for survival against the Lions, but Daniels powered past Westwood for a 10-0 win in five innings.

The Redhawks struggled to contain Daniels’ high-powered offense. Daniels took an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first and tacked on another three in the second to go up 7-0. The Lions held Westwood scoreless through all five innings to take the 10-0 win.

The Lions silenced the Redhawk bats from the beginning, as only Hedrick and Burroughs got on base with walks.

Perez took the mound again for Westwood, facing 26 batters in four innings of work. She allowed seven hits, 10 runs, walked three and struck out one.

Westwood 3, AC Flora 5

WHS – 1-0-1-0-1-0-0 – 3, 3, 3

ACF – 0-0-3-0-0-2-X – 5, 2, 2

HITTERS: WHS – 1B: Scott(2). 3B: Hedrick. SB: Burroughs RBI: Scott.

PITCHING: WHS – Perez(LP) 6.0 IP, 2H, 5R, 0ER, 8K, 3BB.

Daniels 10, Westwood 0

WHS – 0-0-0-0-0-X-X – 0, 0, 7

DHS – 4-3-1-2-X-X-X – 10, 7, 0

PITCHING: WHS – Perez(LP) 4.0 IP, 7H, 10R, 6Er, 1K, 3BB.