Preview: 2A baseball, softball playoffs

April 25, 2012 

Gilbert’s baseball and softball teams open the Class 2A state playoffs with first-round District III home games on Thursday.

Both teams posted perfect 10-0 records on the way to winning Region 3 championships.

The Tribe baseball team (22-2), which is a district No. 1 seed for the eighth time in the last 10 years, takes on Cheraw.

Gilbert enters postseason play with a .386 team batting average and averaging 9.1 runs per game. Austin LaBounty (.524, 30 RBI, 3 HR), Connor Owings (.475, 32 R, 36 RBI, 3 HR, 10 SB), Jared Williams (.426, 28 R, 11 SB), Collins Shirley (.414), Mitch Spires (.358, 22 R, 21 RBI) and Jason Smith (.333, 27 R, 11 SB) are the top producers.

LaBounty (6-0, 32.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 32 K), Mike Morrison (5-0, 26.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 34 K) and Drew Moyer (4-1, 24.1 IP, 0.86 ERA, 29 K) and Owings (2-1, 3 S, 10.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 15 K) are the mound mainstays. Gilbert sports a 1.45 team ERA.

The Indian softball team (20-4) earned a No. 1 district seed for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. Reuben Eargle’s team hosts Central – an outfit it faced twice in the Upper State championship tournament a year ago.

Like their male diamond counterparts, the Indians have had a potent offensive attack this season. Gilbert finished the regular season with a .395 team batting average and averaged 10.1 runs per game. Gabby Keisler (.435, 19 R, 24 RBI, 7 HR), Caitlin Sheppard (.400, 21 R, 16 RBI), Jenna Williams (.426, 29 R, 19 RBI), Nikki Hopkins (.388, 23 R, 19 RBI), Kathryn Cochcroft (.360, 24 R, 15 RBI), Kelli Shealy (.410, 26 R, 26 RBI, 5 HR) and Savannah Anderson (.381, 29 R, 18 RBI) are the team leaders.

Lyndie Dorgan is the mainstay in the circle. She sports an 11-0 record with a 1.05 ERA in 66.2 innings of work.

Swansea also rates two home dates on Thursday.

The Tigers baseball team claimed its first region championship and a No. 1 district seed in 10 year by going 9-1 on the way to the Region 5 pennant. Swansea (15-3) hosts Woodland in the District V opener with the idea of scoring its first postseason win since 2005.

Swansea’s softball team hopes to make another long playoff run behind pitcher Miranda Rogers and catcher Brittany Nelums. The Tigers (14-6) are the No. 2 seed in District VIII after finished second behind Silver Bluff in the Region 5 title race and host Academic Magnet in the first round.

Swansea made it all the way to the Lower State final last year after starting out as a No. 3 district seed.

Batersburg-Leesville has two teams in the mix. The Panther softball team (11-6) is the No. 2 seed in District II softball and hosts Indian Land in the first round. The B-L baseball team hits the road as a No. 3 seed to face Central in Pageland in District I.

Pelion’s softball team finished a tie for fourth place, but had the tie-breaking edge over Edisto to rate its first playoff appearance since 2008. The Panthers (9-11) hit the road to face Hanahan in District VI. Senior Tiffany Omanski is the Pelion standout. She is hitting .516 with 23 runs, 19 RBIs, five doubles and seven home runs and is 6-7 with a 1.85 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 87 innings of work in the circle.

Elsewhere, Eau Claire has two teams entered as No. 4 seeds. Both clubs play at Andrew Jackson.

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