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North Augusta softball keeps season alive behind another Cochran gem

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:22 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, SC (WRDW/WAGT) - The North Augusta softball team kept its season alive Wednesday with a 12-0 win on the road against South Florence in the SCHSL 4A Lower State playoffs.

The Yellow Jackets didn’t waste any time getting the scoring started. Pitcher Katelyn Cochran got hit with the bases loaded in the 1st inning, scoring a run. Roo Howell added a pair with a two-run, two-out single in the next at-bat.

The flood gates really opened up on the 4th. Senior Audri Bates sent a double up the middle with the bases loaded, scoring two runs. North Augusta would score five runs in the inning. They added four more in the sixth, and Cochran finished things off in the bottom half of the inning.

The Jackets keep their season alive and get a little revenge in the process. South Florence beat North Augusta Saturday in the first game of the Lower State bracket.

“It felt good to get some base hits today,” said coach Craig Gilstrap. “We hit every ball right at them [Saturday]. We hit a bunch of them early in [today’s] game the same way. We finally started finding holes and it made a difference.”

Cochran was brilliant on the mound once again for the Jackets. She pitched 6 innings, allowing only four hits, no runs, no walks, and striking out nine batters. It feels like once the Jackets get any type of lead, they take a breath because Cochran shuts down opposing lineups that well. But even she said the more run support the better.

“Even towards the end when it was 12-0, I was like, ‘We need more. We need more. We need to keep going,’” Cochran said after the game. “I like the biggest lead possible. But I felt like when we hit that 3-0 mark I was like, ‘Okay, this is definitely giving me a greater chance right now.’”

With the win, North Augusta is one of the last four teams standing in the SCHSL 4A playoffs. They’ll head to Hartsville for the Lower State Championship. The Jackets have to win two games in a row to advance to the state championship for the first time since 2011.

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