High School Sports

Blythewood diamond teams return to action

After being washed out on Tuesday night, Blythewood’s softball and baseball team finally get back into action tonight.

Bucky Ware’s Bengals softball team, which has not played since going 2-2 at the Triple Crown tournament in Aiken (April 3-4), hosts Dutch Fork in a non-region game. Barry Mizzell’s baseball squad hosts former region rival Dreher in a non-region outing.

But while both clubs are glad to be back in action this evening, the real interest is reserved for later in the week. The softball team has Region 4-4A dates at Ridge View on Thursday and at home vs. Spring Valley on Friday. The baseball team has a make-up date with Ridge View Thursday at home.

Ware’s softball team sports a 12-5 overall record, and a 5-0 mark in 4-4A play. The Bengals have a two-game lead in the loss column over both Lancaster (5-2) and Spring Valley (4-2) in the region standings.

Kelly Owens, Hillary Stewart, Paige Owczarczak and Paige Hartfield have been the big offensive guns to date. Owens sports a .478 batting average, a .593 on base percentage and an impressive 1.289 OPS, and had scored 24 runs and gone 13-for-15 in steals. Stewart boasts a .423 batting mark and a 1.159 OPS with 14 runs and a team-high 22 RBIs. Owczarczak is hitting .417 with 19 runs scored. Hartfield is hitting .368 with 14 runs, 12 RBIs and 12 steals. Bailey Newman (.298, 13 RBIs) and Tiffany Harris (.255, 12 runs, 11 RBIs, 9 steals) have also made significant contributions to the attack.

Megan Marsh and Owens have handled the bulk of the pitching duty. Marsh is 8-4 with two saves, a 2.92 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 50.1 innings. Owens is 4-1 with two saves, a 1.36 ERA and 51 whiffs and just four walks in 51.1 innings in the circle.

Mizzell’s baseball team, which went 2-2 and advanced to the Forest Acres Classic last week at A.C. Flora, is 10-8 overall and 3-3 in 4-4A action. The Bengals currently reside in third place in the standings behind Ridge View (5-1) and Spring Valley (4-2). Blythewood has already dropped first-half decisions to the front runners, but still has a shot at pennant contention if it can beat the Blazers on Thursday.

Sophomore Grayson Greiner, who has made an early committed to South Carolina, is off to a great start. The Bengals star catcher is hitting .424 with a 1.212 OPS, five home runs, 16 runs scored and 18 RBIs. Daniel Andreu has been the only consistent hitter in the lineup in support of Greiner. Andreu is batting .322 with a .908 OPS, three homers, 13 runs and 13 RBIs. Blythewood is hitting just .259 as a team.

Seniors Taylor Bone and Will Smith have emerged as the most reliable pitchers. Bone is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA, while Smith is 2-2 with a fine 1.93 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 29 innings of work. Andreu has a 3-1 record in just eight innings on the hill.