Fox Creek now in must-win series at Southside Christian
Fox Creek’s varsity softball team is still alive in the playoffs. A bump in the road, however, will force the team to go on the road for their next two must-win games.
The Lady Predators (16-7-1) opened up the playoffs in dominating fashion against Great Falls, winning 17-2. Stefanie Bloedel pitched a four-hitter and had four strikeouts. She also went 4-for-4 at the plate and had a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs. Betty Vignati had three hits, including a double and a triple, to go with four RBIs. Her four RBIs were also matched by teammate Brittney Cross. Nicole Gibson went 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI. Hannah Culpepper also had two RBIs to round out the offensive onslaught.
As strong as Fox Creek looked in their playoff opener, Southside Christian proved to be a major stumbling block. The Sabres upended the Predators, 9-8, with a four-run seventh inning. Bloedel pitched a complete game with nine runs allowed three earned.
“We couldn’t catch the ball,” said David Bell, Fox Creek head coach. “We had too many wild pitches, too many errors, too many mental errors and Southside Christian had a group of young ballplayers who played really well. We, for whatever reason, were nervous and pretty much handed it to them.”
Gibson and Morgan Matthews both had two RBIs in the loss. Bloedel, Vignati and Culpepper all had two runs a piece.
“We swung at pitches up over our heads and out of the strike zone,” Bell said. “You just can’t do that and win in the playoffs. There were a number of base-running mistakes where we were caught off ... It’s one of those things where we had a bad day all over the field. Southside Christian played very well. I don’t care who you are, sometimes the ball isn’t going to bounce the way you want it to.”
In an elimination game on Monday afternoon, Fox Creek played host to Ware Shoals. Bloedel rebounded from her performance against Southside Christian with a shutout victory, 6-0. She only gave up one hit in the game and struck out nine. It was an all-around team effort for the Predators, as Corrie Hall was the only player to have two RBIs. Harley Muniz was the only Fox Creek player to score two runs.
Now the team will be forced into a two-game series at Southside Christian. Fox Creek must win two in a row in Simpsonville. It’s a challenge that Bell believes his team is up to.