Tuesday, May 6, 2014
The North Augusta High School team was one that was led by a strong senior class. Unfortunately for those players, they saw their season come to an end against Conway.
The Lady Jackets (14-11) drew first blood against the Lady Tigers, taking the playoff opener for both teams, 4-1. North Augusta was powered by the bats of Grace Wallace and Maddie Shiver, who both hit homers, with the latter having a two-run variety.
The No. 3 seeded Jackets then advanced to play Class AAAA, District VII No. 1 seed Stratford. North Augusta gave up two early runs, and that would prove to be the difference.
“We weren’t hitting the ball real well,” Derrick Quinn, the team’s head coach, said. “In the Conway win, we only had three hits, and two of those were home runs. We were playing really good defense, had really good pitching, but if you don’t hit, you don’t win. In those two games, we only had two hits.”
The Jackets fell into the losers bracket on the heels of a 2-0 loss, which forced a rematch with Conway. The Tigers were ready for the second chance, and won 10-3 to end North Augusta’s season.
“This season has been crazy from everyone beating one another to all the crazy comebacks,” Meghan Whitfield, the team’s ace pitcher, said. “As for all of the seniors I’ve played with, these girls know me more than anyone does. I consider them more as family. We mostly started our memories with the North Augusta All-Stars and never looked back. I wouldn’t have traded this season, or these seniors, for the world.”
Quinn called this year’s senior class a “group of great girls.” This year’s crop included second-baseman Brooke Lavallee, third-baseman Kaleigh Busbee, outfielder Haley Dunbar, first-baseman Chelsea Newman, Whitfield and Flanders.
“Most of them have been in the program since the seventh grade,” he said. “Some of them have struggled this year. That’s not surprising, because sometimes seniors have really good years and sometimes they really struggle. I’m as proud of them as I can be, though; and it has been a pleasure to coach them.”
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013.