Hillgrove’s softball team ended Lowndes’ season with a two-game sweep in the first round of the state playoffs at the Morris-Coats Field of Dreams.
The Lady Hawks (26-8) won the first game 3-2, then completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-3 win in the second game.
Lowndes ends its season 20-10.
Game 1: Hillgrove 3, Lowndes 2
Hillgrove took the lead with two runs in the top of the third, and Abby Evans shut out the Vikettes over the final six innings, giving the Lady Hawks a 3-2 win in Game 1.
Lowndes led 2-1 heading into the top of the third. Lowndes pitcher Tiffany Bishop retired the first two hitters, but then Rachel Jarvis singled to right and stole second. Abby Akins followed with a double to the fence in right, and Jarvis scored. Kia Lang reached on an infield single, then Michelle Forrester hit a ball that was just out of the reach of the shortstop, and Akins came home to give Hillgrove a 3-2 lead.
Evans made the lead stand up from there. The Vikettes had a runner on second in the fourth and a runner on first in the sixth, but couldn’t drive them in.
Lowndes’ best scoring chance in the later innings came in the seventh. Madison Floyd led off with a single to right, and courtesy runner LaGhia Woods stole second, putting the tying run two bases from home. But Evans retired the next three batters, and closed out the win for Hillgrove.
Hillgrove initially took the lead in the top of the first. Brittany Ferrell walked to lead off the game, then Jarvis lined a shot off of the top of the fence in left center. Ferrell was running on contact and scored from first, giving the Lady Hawks a 1-0 lead. Jarvis advanced to third on a ground out, but was stranded there when Bishop retired the next two batters.
Lowndes answered right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. With one out, Chelsea Mefford reached on an infield single, then Becca Prairie lined a single out of the shortstop’s reach and into left field.
The runners advanced on Heather Robinson’s ground out to second. Then Kendall Holland ripped a double over the right fielder’s head. Mefford and Woods scored, giving the Vikettes the lead, 2-1.
Hillgrove regained the lead in the top of the third, and held it the rest of the game.
Evans pitched a complete game for Hillgrove, allowing two runs and four hits and striking out four. The Vikettes only managed one hit off of her in the final six innings.
Bishop pitched the first four innings, and allowed three runs and five hits. Krystal Eason went to the circle in the fifth and pitched three shutout innings.