Softball: Socastee in finals; Carolina Forest eliminated

The Socastee High softball team used a monster second inning to put visiting Hanahan away early in Wednesday’s 8-3 victory in the district tournament winner’s bracket game.

Socastee senior Blake Smith pounded out two home runs, including a grand slam to cap the explosive second inning, and five RBIs to lift the Lady Braves (17-9) to the district finals.

Socastee pitcher Savannah Talley was in control for most of the game, but Hanahan scored two runs in the first to draw first blood. But the Lady Braves batted around the order in the second and were never threatened again. Both teams scored one run in their final at-bats.

The Lady Braves await the winner of Thursday’s elimination game between Hanahan and Airport needing to win one out of two to advance to the Lower State tournament.

* Bluffton 4-10, Carolina Forest 3-6: The Lady Panthers (23-4) were swept in a doubleheader at home by the Lady Bobcats to have their quest for a state championship cut short in the district finals.

Bluffton rallied for a 4-3 victory in the first game, setting the stage for the winner-take-all nightcap. The Lady Panthers pulled ahead 6-3 but saw Bluffton erupt for seven unanswered runs to complete the upset.

Carolina Forest reached the state championship series last season and was favored to make a repeat bid this year.

* St. James 6, Swansea 1: Casey Betts threw a two-hitter to lead the Lady Sharks to a district finals showdown with Darlington on Friday.

Hannah Price went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Morgan Marlow went 2-for-3 with a home run to lead St. James.

Photo by Rancier Photography

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