By Robert L. Bradley Special to The Easley Progress
April 17, 2014
EASLEY — For the first time in school history, the Easley High School softball team gained a season sweep of both J.L. Mann and Hillcrest. The Lady Green Wave defeated Mann 8-7 last Tuesday, and followed that with a 17-10 thumping of Hillcrest on Wednesday.
Easley closed out the week with a 5-4 loss at Laurens on Friday, but still hold onto second place in Region 1-AAAA with a 9-2 league mark. Easley is 14-7 overall.
The Lady Green Wave will take this week off for spring break and close out the regular season the following week.
Easley will get a shot at revenge with Laurens on Monday when it plays host to the Lady Raiders. Easley will be at T.L. Hanna April 22 and will close out the regular season with a home game against Westside April 24. All three games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Prior to the Westside game, Easley will honor its three seniors: Taylor Rothrock, Brittany Kimbrough and Boo Vaughn.
Easley 8, J.L. Mann 7
The Lady Green Wave led most of the game, only to see Mann score three runs and claim a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh inning.
But Easley didn’t give in. The Lady Green Wave loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning on walks by Mattison Trammell and Taylor Waldrop and a single by Jade Hendricks.
With two outs, Boo Vaughn walked to tie the game and Brittany Kimbrough drew the fourth walk of the inning for the win. Mann’s pitchers had issued only three walks in the previous six innings.
Vaughn tied the game in the first when she reached on an error and scored on a single by Kelsey Garrett.
The Lady Green Wave pushed three more runs home in the third for a 4-1 lead. With one out, Kimbrough and Garrett singled. Kimbrough scored on a groundout by Robin Bradley. After Trammell was hit by a pitch, Taylor Waldrop tripled to score two more runs.
Easley added another run in the fourth when Hendricks walked, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Kimbrough. Mann pulled within a run in the sixth with a pair of runs, but Easley responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning as Vaughn was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a single by Bradley.
Easley 17, Hillcrest 10
Easley raced to a 9-3 lead, only to have Hillcrest battle back and tie the game at 9-9 in the third inning. But Easley scored one in the fourth, three in the fifth and four in the sixth while shutting the door on Hillcrest to pick up the win.
Brittany Kimbrough was the offensive leader for Easley with five hits in as many at-bats. Boo Vaughn and Taylor Waldrop each had a pair of hits, including two doubles by Waldrop. Kimbrough had a double and Jade Hendricks a triple.
Hendricks’ triple enabled Easley to break a 9-9 tie as she scored on a double by Waldrop in the fourth inning.
In the fifth, Kimbrough opened the inning with a double and scored on an error. Bradley reached on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hendricks. Another error allowed Mattison Trammell to score.
Three more errors enabled Easley to seal the win in the sixth. Waldrop walked and Sydney Patterson reached on an error. Waldrop scored on a single by Vaughn, and a single by Kimbrough loaded the bases. Kelsey Garrett’s sacrifice fly scored a run, Robin Bradley’s groundout scored a run and two more errors allowed another run.
Laurens 5, Easley 4
Laurens scored an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 4-all tie and earn its second victory over Easley in a week.
The first meeting did not count in the Region 1-AAAA standings as it was part of the Triple Crown Invitational in Aiken, but the second victory did give the Lady Raiders a two-game lead over Easley heading into the final week of the season.
Laurens led 4-0 after two innings with three unearned runs. But Easley rallied with two runs in the third and two more in the fifth to tie the game. Boo Vaughn got the third-inning rally started with a one-out single. Brittany Kimbrough singled and Kelsey Garrett reached on an error that scored Vaughn. Robin Bradley’s fielder’s choice scored Kimbrough.
The Lady Green Wave tied the game with two runs in the fifth. Taylor Rothrock walked, Vaughn reached on a fielder’s choice and Kimbrough singled to load the bases. Kelsey Garrett singled to score two runs. Bradley’s walk loaded the bases with no outs. Laurens got out of the game with a strikeout, fielder’s choice out at home and fly ball out.
Easley got two runners on base in the sixth, but a groundout ended the inning. In the seventh, Bradley led off with a single, Mattison Trammell reached on catcher’s interference and they moved into scoring position on a groundout by Taylor Waldrop. But two infield grounders ended the inning.
Laurens got the win in the bottom of the inning on a double, wild pitch and throwing error.