Lady Predators have to win to stay in
With their backs against the wall and their season in the balance, the Fox Creek High School varsity softball team responded.
The Lady Predators (19-8-1) beat Southside Christian twice in a doubleheader on the road to avenge their earlier playoff loss. The Sabres beat Fox Creek, 9-8, on April 26 to steal away home-field advantage.
In the first game Fox Creek was led once again by Stefanie Bloedel in a 6-0 win. Bloedel struck out seven in a complete-game shutout and had a double at the plate. Harley Muniz had two hits in the win.
Following that, the Lady Predators shellacked the Sabres, 16-0, in game two. Bloedel pitched game two as well, with another shutout in a mercy-rule five-inning victory. She matched her strikeout total from the first game with seven in game two.
Betty Vignati and Bloedel both had three RBIs a piece. Erin Harrison, Nicole Gibson, and Muniz all had two RBIs and Hannah Culpepper had a triple.
“The scores kind of tell the story, Southside Christian is a pretty young team,” David Bell, Fox Creek head coach, said. “From the first inning we hit the ball, and it got going from there. Stef threw two great games, and we did not commit an error in the two games. I think the first time they played that team they knew they should of played a bit better.”
When asked about Bloedel’s play in particular, Bell pointed to the fact that the second game being shortened was a bonus.
“She only had to go 12 innings instead of 14, so that made it easier,” he said.
The wins gave Fox Creek a district title, and, in the Upper State round, the team was set to play Lewisville on Saturday. That game ended up getting rained out and made up on Monday. Fox Creek lost that game, 5-1, to put itself back into the loser’s bracket once again. Now the team must go on the same path it did last round, starting with a game that was to have happened on Tuesday night at home against St. Joseph’s. Should the Predators win that game, they will go on the road on Wednesday to play the loser of Lewisville and Dixie. A win there would put them in the finals on Friday.
“It all boils down to who wants it on that day,” Bell said.
Scott Rodgers is a reporter at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.