Blythewood took a giant step toward raising yet another region softball pennant on Thursday with a 5-0 triumph over visiting Lugoff-Elgin. The Bengals clinched at least a share of the Region 4-4A title last night and needs one win to make it an outright championship.
The program has never failed to finish first, or tied for first, since the program debuted in 2006.
In the first meeting of the contenders on March 21, the Bengals pulled out a 2-1 decision with runs in the sixth and seventh innings. In the rematch, pitcher Katie Chappell continued her mastery of the Demons with a crisp, four-hitter with no walks.
Blythewood (16-6, 8-0) has a two-game lead over L-E with two Region games left to play after spring break.
Katie pitched her best game of the year, said Bengals coach Dwayne Jones. She was very sharp with her location, never got rattled and was always in control.
The first test came early when L-Es Sophie Holland led off the game with a ringing double to right field. Chappell responded by the next 15 Demons she faced.
Offensively, the Bengals did all the heavy lifting in the second inning against L-E ace Erin Blizzard. Doubles by Ansley Gilstrap and Chappell bracketed a single by Jessica Ergle to stake Blythewood to a 2-0 lead. Another run came in on a Demons infield error. Jessica Roth capped the decisive burst with a booming, two-run home run to left field.
It was our best overall game in a while, said Jones. We were keyed in defensive, made some difficult plays look easy. Offensively, we got to (Blizzards) inside pitch and hit some balls hard in the big inning. It was great to have an inning that gave us some separation. Being 8-0 with two games to play is a nice position to be in.
Lugoff-Elgin (15-3, 6-2) needs one win in its final two region games to secure second place.