MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – After dropping their first game to Louisa 11-0, the Cougars, led by big-hitter Rachel Cunningham, kicked into high gear to defeat Wayland and Sherman, while falling to Boardman.
Makenzie Daniels and Ashtin Hoover saved the Cougars from facing a no-hitter in Game 1, each going 1-for-2.
Hoover took the loss for the Cougars in 4.1 innings, giving up eight earned runs and seven walks. She had just one strikeout.
GAME 2 (WAYLAND)
Heading into the fourth inning, Jefferson and Wayland were knotted at four. Then, the Cougars took off for a four-run offensive tirade, holding their opponent to one run through the bottom of the seventh.
Although Isabella O’Bannion had a perfect day at the plate, Cunningham accounted for four of the team’s runs with a 3-for-4 show.
Karli Snyder picked up the win for Jefferson, striking out one and giving up three walks and two earned runs.
GAME 3 (BOARDMAN)
The Cougars had Boardman on the ropes – taking a three run lead in the third inning after going toe-for-toe through the first two innings.
Boardman began chasing Jefferson with a solo run in the bottom of the fourth, but Jefferson maintained their lead with a run of their own in the fifth. Boardman refused to give in, rallying in the bottom of the sixth and putting seven runs on the board.
Jefferson’s last chance fell short, with only one run coming in the top of the seventh.
Faith Palmer and Maddy Edwards both went 1-for-4 at the plate, picking up two RBI and logging two doubles, while Faith Klein (2-3) and Julia Carter’s (2-4) better average at the plate accounted for one RBI each. Cunningham, the team's X-Factor at the plate, did not find her way into the order.
Snyder took the loss for Jefferson, giving up five earned runs and two walks through 5.1 innings. She struck out two.
GAME 4 (SHERMAN)
Although striking out ten times in four scoreless innings, the Cougars maintained their poise to down Sherman with a late game push.
Sherman took the early lead off of two runs in the first inning, allowing just one run off of a double by Edwards in the second.
Sherman would fail to score until the sixth inning, but Jefferson was already far ahead of them. With little time and facing Jefferson’s quick hands, Sherman would find just one run in the bottom of sixth. Up 4-3 and with two outs, Rachel Cunningham delivered the dagger with her only triple of the game on her first pitch, bringing in Klein and O’Bannion. Sherman would fail to come back from the deficit, tacking on just one run in the seventh.
Something that has been evident throughout the year was especially true in Game 4 – Cunningham’s huge performance at the plate paved the way for the Cougars to overcome their final opponent. The senior is a force not to be trifled with, as she picked up three RBI in a perfect 4-for-4 show. Edwards’ also contributed in the final game, putting in three runners with a 2-for-3 time at the plate.
Hoover picked up the win for Jefferson, pitching the entire game. She struck out one, walked two and allowed three earned runs.