HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Kaitlyn Yarbrough stroked a one-out single over the Palmetto pitcher’s head with runners at the corners in the 10th inning as the undefeated Hartsville softball team won the first game of a three-game Class 4A state championship series 6-5 on Monday night in front of a capacity crowd.
It was another of the signature cardiac-style games that the Lady Foxes have been playing lately.
The Lady Foxes (27-0) scored two runs in the first inning and one in the third, but Palmetto scored three in the fifth to tie the game, and tension fell over Phyllis C. Griggs Park.
It appeared that momentum had swung in the Mustang’s favor with a run in the ninth inning when the international tie-breaker rule was enforced. Each team would start the inning with a runner at second base.
Palmetto scored in the ninth and Hartsville answered the call.
Palmetto scored again in the 10th, setting the scene for Hartsville.
Abi Stokes took her place at second base. Te’Asia McPhail singled, advancing Stokes to third base.
Yarbrough already had two extra base hits and three RBI on the evening. She swung at a fastball down the middle of the plate and deposited it into centerfield.
Stokes scored easily, and there was never a play on McPhail.
“We got some timely hits,” Hartsville Coach Tommy Garrison said. “Kaitlyn was hot tonight. Why they didn’t walk her at that last at bat, I don’t know. With our two fastest runners on second and third base, I would have had to walk her.”
The usual “brick-wall-defense” was porous Monday night, as the Lady Foxes committed a season high seven errors.
“We played some sloppy defense tonight,” Garrison said. “I don’t know whether it was the sun or what.”
Hartsville scored six runs on 13 hits and one Mustang error.
Palmetto scored five runs on seven hits and the seven Hartsville errors.
Alyssa Poston pitched all 10 innings for Hartsville. She struck out five and walked one. None of the five runs was earned.
Yarbrough had three doubles on the night while Blaze McArthur stroked a triple that bounced off the fence. Hartsville stranded seven runners.
Game 2 will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Palmetto in Williamson, which is in Anderson County. Admission is $8, and only SC High School League passes will be accepted.