Brookland-Cayce took care of business against St. James on Wednesday night to move on to the Class 3A Lower State softball final round on Friday at Darlington.
The Bearcats (29-4) take on the 21-4 Falcons starting at 6 p.m. B-C needs two wins against Darlington ace pitcher Sarah Hardee, a hard-throwing right-hander who pitched a perfect game in the district phase of the playoffs against Airport.
The teams are hardly strangers. The Lower State powerhouses have clashed repeatedly since Darlington emerged as a big-time player in the mid-2000s. Last year, B-C fell to the Falcons in the first round of the districts, but came back to beat Hardee twice in the finale to advance and eventually reach the state championship series. In 2006, Darlington came out of the loser’s bracket to beat the Bearcats twice by 1-0 scores to claim LS honors. In 2005, B-C defeated the Falcons in the LS finale.
B-C scored in every inning but the fourth in Wednesday’s 12-5 elimination game win at St. James, avenging an error-marred 4-2 loss to the Sharks in first-round LS play last Saturday.
Alex White staked the Bearcats to a 1-0 lead with a RBI single in the first. Chandler Terrapin stoked a two-run single in the second. White led of the third inning with a home run, her second in two games, and Asia Benn later delivered a run-scoring single. In the fifth after St. James had pulled within one run, Benn upped the lead to 6-4 had another RBI single. White had a sacrifice fly and Brooke Lucas followed with an RBI single in the sixth. B-C put it away with four runs in the seventh, courtesy of a RBI single by Holly Helms, a bases-loaded walk worked by Terrapin, and a two-run single by M.C. Smith.
In all, B-C rapped 15 hits. Terrapin was the winner in the circle, improving to 22-4. The sophomore workhorse allowed only one earned run. The Bearcats have been plagued by defensive miscues in the Lower State tournament so far.