White Knoll pulled even with Lexington atop the Region 5-4A softball standings with a 2-0 win on Monday. It was the first region loss of the season for the revitalized Wildcats. With four region games left on the board for both teams, the pennant and the No. 1 state playoff seed could come down to the rematch between the neighboring rivals next Monday at Lexington.
WK senior right-hander Shelley Jeffcoat was the dominant figure on Monday, tossing a three-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts and just one walk. In the process, Jeffcoat improved to 11-4 on the season. Lexington pitcher Sara Parks fell to 11-4.
The Timberwolves found runs hard to come by against Parks, despite eight hits. White Knoll managed to push across single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to get the job done. K loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but only got one home against the battling Parks, courtesy of a long sacrifice fly off the bat of Sara Eisenhower that scored Kali Bishop who led off the inning with s single. Nicole Stancil got things going in the sixth with a leadoff single. A sacrifice bunt by Hanna Smoak advanced pinch runner Sabrina McCray to second. McCary then scored on an infield hit by Lydia Trexler that ricocheted of the leg of Parks.
White Knoll (15-6, 9-1) travels to face Irmo on Tuesday, while Lexington (18-4, 9-1) hosts Dutch Fork. The Timberwolves and Wildcats have a slim, 1 and a half game lead over third-place North Augusta (16-5, 7-2). Lexington plays at North Augusta on Friday. White Knoll is done with North Augusta, splitting the region series.
Dutch Fork (5-5), Irmo (4-5) and Aiken (4-6) are locked in the struggled for fourth and fifth place. The fourth-place team gets an automatic berth in the Class 4A state playoffs that begin on April 30. The fifth place team has a shot at getting a wild card invitation.
Irmo is looking to finally put things together on a consistent basis after being an up-and-down squad for most of the spring. The Yellow Jackets still have key games remaining with North Augusta, White Knoll and Dutch Fork. Irmo’s playoff drive hit the skids last week in loss to Aiken (5-4) and Lexington (7-3). The Wildcats pulled away late thanks to two-run homers by Ashley Whitacker and Brittany Carr in the sixth and seven innings.