Five state playoff games involving Midlands teams are on tap Friday – four in softball, one in baseball.
The lone baseball game pits No. 1 Lexington (23-2) at home against James Island in the second round of the Class 4A District V playoffs. Lexington bashed Lugoff-Elgin 13-3 in first-round play on Thursday, while James Island beat West Florence 4-2 at home. The winner advances to the district final round on May 2, needing one win to qualify for the Elite Eight phase of the postseason. The loser faces an elimination game on Monday.
In softball, White Knoll and Gilbert are at home for second-round games looking to advance to the district title round. White Knoll (18-8) opened Class 4A District V play with a 6-0 win over Spring Valley on Wednesday and faces Stratford tonight. Gilbert (21-4) topped Central 12-9 in a wild Class 2A District III opener last night and takes on Emerald, a 6-3 winner last night against Pendleton. Gabby Keisler, Caitlyn Sheppard and Gibson Westfall all slugging home runs for Gilbert. Lyndie Dargin served up a couple of gopher balls herself, but survived to imrpove to 12-0 in the circle.
Blythewood (21-5) has a tough task in store tonight on the road against top-ranked Hillcrest in Class 4A District II. The seventh-ranked Bengals opened with a 7-0 win last night against visiting Northwestern. Katie Chappell tossed a two-hit shutout with no walks issued. The Blythewood defense had a flawless game in support, and Chappell paced a 10-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with a triple.
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Spring Valley (15-11) is facing elimination tonight at home against West Florence.