Dutch Fork’s unheralded softball team is looking to make a little history on Wednesday when it hosts White Knoll in the Class 4A District 7 championship round.
The Silver Foxes, after all, have never made it this far along the state playoff trail. Dutch Fork is the unbeaten team, nipping White Knoll 4-3 in the second round on Saturday after opening with a 2-0 upset win at Wando.
Not bad, considering the Silver Foxes (16-9-1) entered postseason play as a No. 4 seed in the Lower State bracket even though they finished in third place kin Region 4-4A behind Blythewood and Spring Valley.
“Everybody is stepping up and doing the job,” said DF coach Laurie Epps. “We’re peaking at just the right time, and we hope it continues.”
Freshman pitcher Hayley Elkins had been solid in the playoffs so far to up her record in the circle to 15-7. Elkins allowed just three hits in the shutout at Wando, ringing up six strikeouts. She allowed White Knoll just four hits in the second round win, and was charged with only one earned run.
White Knoll cut the Silver Foxes lead to 4-3 with a run in the seventh and had the bases loaded before Elkins shut the door.
DF scored two runs in the first inning of a double by Jenna Meetz that plated Tiffany McRae and Chelsey Blasingame. The two runs in the second inning were the result of a WK error.
Meetz and Elkins delivered back-to-back RBI doubles in the sixth inning to break up the scoreless battle at Wando in the first round.
Lacy Smith, Elkins and Madi Brown have been DF’s top hitters all year. Smith batted .627 during the regular season with 32 runs, 31 RBIs, nine double and eight home runs. Elkins is at .424 with 25 runs, 28 RBIs, 10 doubles and two homers. Brown went .389 with 21 runs and 17 RBIs. Blasingame (.315, 21 R, 14 RBI) and Meetz (.305, 18 R, 15 RBI) have been solid contributors, as well.
White Knoll (19-5) stayed in the hunt with a 1-0 road win at Wando on Monday. Savannah Terrapin fired a four-hitter and got out of a serious jam in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Warriors had runners on second and third base with one out.
The Timberwolves swept Dutch Fork during the regular season, prevailing by commanding margins – 12-4 and 15-4.