High School Sports

Lexington softball facing must-win after losing to Byrnes in Game 1 of championship series

Watch: Lexington softball coach Laurie Epps’ comments after loss to Byrnes

Lexington softball coach Laurie Epps discusses her team's 12-8 loss to Byrnes in Game 1 of Class 5A softball final.
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Lexington softball coach Laurie Epps discusses her team's 12-8 loss to Byrnes in Game 1 of Class 5A softball final.

Byrnes had a sixth inning to remember and Lexington had one to forget Monday.

The Rebels scored nine runs in the bottom of the sixth to defeat Lexington, 12-8, on Monday in Game 1 of the Class 5A softball championship series. Calee Smith delivered the big blow with a grand slam with one out to give the Rebels a 12-8 lead.

Game two is at Lexington on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. A third game, if necessary, is Friday night at a neutral site.

“It is a three-game series for a reason,” Lexington coach Laurie Epps said. “We got to bounce back and finish what we started. I am confident in what we have. We just got to come to play Wednesday and take it one pitch at a time.”

Lexington has had to deal losing big leads before this season. In three of the Wildcats’ four defeats, they have blown four run or more leads.

“I believe in these girls and they work so hard,” Epps said. “I think we are going to be alright. I’m proud to be their coach and we are going to bounce back and do what we need to do on Wednesday.

Trailing 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Byrnes came alive. Kasey Widmyer had an RBI single and Molly Mathas a two-run double to cut it to 8-6.

Back-to-back Lexington errors tied it at 8. Then Smith belted a Hannah Kumiyama pitch over the center-field fence to make it 12-8. Kumiyama came in the game during the sixth inning to relieve Allie Light.

“We have had some big innings before this season but not teams of this caliber,” Byrnes coach Brandi Aiken said. “Our kids are always fight and we always play to the last out. Obviously against a team as good as theirs (Lexington), I didn’t know if we would battle back to go ahead. I just wanted them to put up a fight.”

Haley Whitesides picked up the win in relief for Byrnes.

Saige Stanley had three hits and Jaci Fleming had two to lead Lexington.

Lexington jumped out for four runs in the top of the first inning. Peri Rouillard and Ashley Causey each had an RBI in the inning for Lexington, which had its first four runners reach to start the game.

Lexington led 5-0 before Byrnes scored twice to cut it to 5-2 after three innings. But Stanley hit a solo homer to lead off the fourth and Kumiyama added an RBI double in the inning to make it 7-2.

Byrnes is making its fourth straight appearance in the championship series. Lexington is in its first title series since 2001 and looking for its fifth title.

SCHSL Championship Schedule

Class 5A

Blythewood vs. Dutch Fork

Game 1: Blythewood 2, Dutch Fork 1 (9)

Tuesday: Blythewood at Dutch Fork, 7 p.m.

Friday: At Segra Park, 7 p.m. (if necessary)

Class 4A

Eastside vs. Midland Valley

Monday: Eastside 11, Midland Valley 1

Wednesday: Eastside at Midland Valley

Saturday: Neutral Site, if necessary

Class 3A

Crescent vs. Bishop England

Game 1: Bishop England 3, Crescent 2

Tuesday: at Bishop England

Saturday: Neutral Site, if necessary

Class 2A

Landrum vs. Oceanside Collegiate

Monday: Landrum 2, Oceanside Collegiate 1

Wednesday: Landrum at Oceanside Collegiate, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Lexington Blowifish Stadium, if necessary

Class A

McBee vs.Green Sea Floyds

Game 1: McBee 2, Green Sea Floyds 0

Tuesday: at Green Sea Floyds, 6 p.m.

May 18: Neutral Site, if necessary

SCISA Playoff Schedule

Best-of 3 Series

Class 3A Championship

Ben Lippen vs. Hammond

Monday: Ben Lippen 12, Hammond 2 (5)

Tuesday: Ben Lippen at Hammond, 7 p.m.

Thursday: At Neutral site, if necessary

Class A

Championship

Richard Winn vs. Dorchester Academy

Monday: Dorchester 4, Richard Winn 0

Tuesday: Dorchester at Richard Winn, 6:30 p.m.

Friday: Neutral site, if necessary

Softball

SCHSL Playoff Schedule

Best-of 3 Series

Class 5A Championship

Monday: Byrnes 12, Lexington 8

Wednesday: Byrnes at Lexington, 6:30 p.m.

Friday: Neutral site, if necessary

Class 4A

Hartsville vs. Palmetto

Monday: Hartsville 6, Palmetto 5 (10)

Wednesday: Hartsville at Palmetto

Friday: Neutral site, if necessary

Class 3A

Union County vs. Battery Creek

Monday: Battery Creek 2, Union County 1

Wednesday: Union County at Battery Creek

Friday: Neutral site, if necessary

Class 2A

Latta vs. Ninety-Six

Monday: Ninety Six 5, Latta 3

Wednesday: Ninety Six at Latta

Friday: Neutral site, if necessary

Class A

Dixie vs. Lake View

Monday: Lake View 3, Dixie 1

Wednesday: Dixie at Lake View

Friday: Neutral site, if necessary

SCISA Playoff Schedule

Best-of 3 Series

Class 3A

Cardinal Newman vs. Wilson Hall

Monday: Wilson Hall 4, Cardinal Newman 2

Tuesday: Wilson Hall at Cardinal Newman

Wednesday: Cardinal Newman vs. Wilson Hall at neutral site, if necessary

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