Lady Knights stay alive in playoffs
The Stratford softball team knocked off North Augusta 8-7 on Friday night to stay alive in the Class AAAA softball playoffs.
The Lady Knights pounded out 16 hits in the victory and scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge the Lady Yellow Jackets.
“If we'd played like that all year this would have been a totally different team,” Stratford coach Debra Tolar said. “The kids played with a lot of heart and effort. They reached down deep. It was an impressive show.”
Senior centerfielder Jessica Palmer was 4 for 5 with three RBIs. Stratford was able to score the winning run when Kayli Miles put the ball in play to North Augusta's shortstop, who made an error.
Kali Rose played special defense at third base to keep multiple runs from scoring.
The win improved Stratford's record to 14-13 and placed the Lady Knights in an elimination game on Tuesday after press time against Bluffton.
It's a rematch of Stratford's playoff opener that Bluffton won 7-1 last Thursday. The winner was to travel to Carolina Forest on Wednesday for the district championship and had to win twice to make the Lower State final four.
The win over North Augusta reminded Tolar of Stratford's 6-4 victory over rival Goose Creek earlier in the week. Tolar's team won to earn a spot in the playoffs and collected 13 hits against the Lady Gators.
Stratford jumped out to a 5-1 lead after five innings and held on to avenge an earlier 1-0 loss to Goose Creek.
“I started to see some pride come out,” Tolar said.