Clarendon County’s first softball team to reach the state playoffs did it in a convincing manner last week in Sumter when the Clarendon Dixie Belles All-Star 15-and-under team won three out of four games to clinch a berth in the state playoffs.
Clarendon 3/Darlington 2
The Clarendon Dixie Belles won the first game of regional action on June 25, in Sumter against the Darlington Dixie Belles, 3-2.
The Clarendon Dixie Belles got behind early when Darlington scored twice in the second inning. Clarendon came back with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game at 2-2 before a game-winning RBI single in the eighth by Kadaijah Gamble scored Christian Hussey to give Clarendon the victory.
Courtney Beatson picked up the win.
Game 2 in 5 innings
Clarendon 14/Lake City 2
The Clarendon Dixie Belles had the bats going in a huge five-inning win on June 26, in Sumter against the Lake City Dixie Belles, 14-2.
Clarendon had seven girls go 3 for 3 at the plate in the slugfest: Courtney Beatson, Shannon Corbett, Katelynn Edwards, Baylee Elms, Kadaijah Gamble, Christian Hussey and Kristin Shaffer.
The Dixie Belles scored seven runs in the first inning and never looked back. They added three runs in the second and four runs in the fourth to shorten the game to just five innings.
Lake City scored both of their runs in the fifth inning.
Ansley Ridgill was the winning pitcher.
Darlington 8/Clarendon 2
The Clarendon Dixie Belles had to win one more game to make it to the state playoffs, but they lost a big game on June 28, to Darlington, 8-2.
A sluggish performance by the Clarendon Dixie Belles put them behind the eight ball early with Darlington striking in the first for two runs and again in the third for three runs. Clarendon cut the lead down to one by scoring two in the fifth inning; however a strong three-run seventh inning put the game out of reach forcing Clarendon to play Darlington in a second game that same afternoon.
Shannon Corbett went 3 for 3 and Courtney Beatson went 2 for 3 in the loss.
“Our girls were not into the game,” said Head Coach Evelyn Gamble. “They were a little slow. We hit into a lot of pop flies or hit the ball directly at someone.”
Clarendon 12/Darlington 7
The Clarendon Dixie Belles came out hitting in the second game against Darlington and won big, 12-7.
Clarendon came out swinging in the top of the first putting three runs on the board; but Darlington wasn’t intimidated, one-upping Clarendon by scoring four runs in their half of the first. Back-to-back home runs in the second inning put the Clarendon Dixie Belles on top for good. A solo home run by Katelynn Gamble and a three-RBI blast by Jordan Carter along with another run added five runs to the board putting Clarendon up 8-4. A lone run by Darlington in the third cut into the lead; however, a stellar performance in the fourth by Clarendon let Darlington know Clarendon was there to play in the second game. Clarendon posted four runs in the fourth, more than enough to earn them a victory and a berth in the state playoffs. Darlington attempted a comeback in the seventh but fell way short adding just two runs to their total.
Courtney Beatson, Baylee Elms and Christian Hussey went 3 for 3 in the game.
Beatson also collected the win.
“We have an awesome defense,” said Gamble. “We also have some good, strong batters. Most of these girls have played together for seven or eight years and they really know each other. I’ve been coaching for 14 years. This is the county’s first softball team to reach the state playoffs. I’m really excited for the girls.”
The Clarendon Dixie Belles will begin state playoff action on July 14 in Dillon. Brackets have not been determined.