All of them count, of course, but the Chester softball team essentially lost its playoff opener with Belton-Honea Path in one inning last week.
“We have just had that one inning all season,” said Coach Chiquita Griffin said. “We had one bad inning with the bunts (tonight). It was fundamentals of softball, routine plays.”
The visiting Lady Bears scored seven big runs in the second inning on the way to a 10-0 victory in five innings.
Belton-Honea Path led 1-0 after one but all but it away in the second. The leadoff batter reached on an error, then McKensleigh Parnell laid down a bunt single and Chalee Roper followed with another that plated a run. Emma Evans and Chloe Maness both bunted their way onto bass (Evans drove in two in the process) a run was forced in later with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and Liv Hall had one of the only hard-hit balls of the frame, that being double that drove in three runs. Just like that it was 8-0 in favor of the visitors.
Griffin said it was frustrating, because her staff had scouted Belton-Honea Path and told the team the “small ball” bunt attack was coming. Still, it worked to the tune of giving the Lady Bears a lead that would stand.
Chester seemed to settle in defensively the next two innings and kept it at 8-0, but also couldn’t get much going offensively, stranding a couple of runners and hitting into a double play that snuffed out a potential rally. Once Belton-Honea Path tacked on two more runs in the fifth, the game ended on the mercy rule.
Chester pitcher Hayley Hunter actually had a much better game than the final score would indicate, but Griffin said she just didn’t get a lot of help.
“We didn’t lift her up give her much help,” she said.
Chester executed at a much higher level in Saturday’s elimination game but still had a couple of costly miscues in a 6-3 loss to Woodruff that ended the season.