Veteran Brookland-Cayce softball coach Richard Lundy said the stars must have been in alignment. Long-time assistant coach Steve Collins said he had never seen anything quite like it.
The two men were referring to the Bearcats dramatic seventh-inning rally that propelled B-C to a 4-1 win over archrival Midland Valley and a spot in the Class 3A Lower State championship game on Friday. Brookland-Cayce, the only team left in the LS bracket with a margin for error advantage, will take on either Midland Valley or St. James at home with a state championship series berth hanging in the balance.
The Bearcats were facing their third 1-0 loss to the Mustangs entering the final inning in Graniteville. B-C was down to its last out and its last strike when seventh-grader Caroline Reid hit a blooper over the second baseman’s head for a single to keep B-C’s fading hope alive. Actually, it was the start of something big. Alexis Lucas and Brooke Lucas followed with singles off MV left-hander Amber Holley to load the bases. Chandler Terrapin then ripped a double off the top of the fence to give the Bearcats a 2-1 lead. Two more runs scored on a RBI single by M.C. Smith and a double by Alex White.
Ironically, the Bearcats and their fans were probably thinking that things were not going to turn in their favor at the outset of the seventh inning. Marquitta Wilson opened the frame with a swinging bunt for a hit, but was doubled off first base after MV center fielder Justice made a sensational running catch of a screaming liner to left-center field off the bat of Corbitt.
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Terrapin, who retired the last six Mustangs batters she faced, ended the game by gloving a hot liner off the bat of Haley Justice. The freshman right-hander improved to 21-7 in the circle, tossing a six-hitter with four strikeouts. Midland Valley got three of the hits in the third inning when it took a 1-0 lead, but none after a leadoff single in the fifth. After serving up that last MV safety, Terrapin retired nine of last 10 Mustangs to come to the plate.