The Colleton Prep Lady Hawks went 2-1 last week in the toughest test of the season, earning wins over Laurence Manning (10-1) and Hanahan High School (4-3) and suffering a 10-0 loss to SCHSL AAAAA Summerville High School. Colleton Prep is now 4-1 on the regular season and 1-0 in conference play.
In a home game against Laurence Manning on Monday March 9 at ACE Basin Sports Complex, Haley Bootle earned the win, allowing two hits and one run across five innings of work, striking out three. Colleton Prep’s offense recorded 12 hits on the day with Bootle, Heather Davis, Becca Martin and Langley Harter recording multiple hits. Weslin Jones had two stolen bases. Martin and Linley Jones had 3-RBI’s each.
“Beating Laurence Manning is a feather in our cap,” said Coach Tiger Martin. “Maybe they’re down a little this year, but defeating them the way we did was still an extreme confidence booster. Haley Bootle had a rocky start but didn’t allow the big base hit. We played a fundamentally sound defense behind her for the most part and the girls really attacked on offense, quickly erasing the one-run deficit in the bottom of the first. We also had clutch hits when needed. If you can convert your opportunities, this game isn’t so hard.”
Against Summerville High School on the road the following evening, the Lady Hawks fell behind early on a dinger in the bottom of the first. Bootle took the loss for Colleton Prep allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits, issuing three walks and striking out three. Weslin Jones, Taylor Tomedolskey and Rachel Wright had the only hits in the game.
“Summerville probably represented the toughest challenge on our schedule,” said Martin. “They have one of the best hitting teams I’ve seen. Having had the opportunity to watch them dominate the field in the Battle on the Bases Tournament, we were a little starry-eyed going into this one. We knew they could hit, but we thought we could score on them as well. I’ve got to tip my cap to their pitcher — for our offense to work, we’ve got to put the ball in play and use our speed. She recorded nine strikeouts which just killed every would-be rally. Bootle pitched well, but things got away from her and our defense in a seven-run third inning. All in all, it was a great challenge and we hope to give them a better game of it when they come to us.”
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh against Hanahan High School Thursday March 12, Bootle saved the day when she laced a hard hit double to left field, scoring Weslin Jones and Langley Harter. Bootle also earned the win across seven innings of work, allowing three runs on nine hits and striking out four. Heather Davis, Weslin Jones and Linley Jones each recorded two hits in the game.
“I can’t begin to say how proud I am of the girls’ effort in this game,” said Martin. “Coach Tomedolskey and I were both out sick, which is as frustrating a thing as I’ve been through as a coach. Our offense gave Bootle an early lead that hung around until the seventh inning with Linley Jones’ 2-RBI hits,” said Martin.
“Bootle then gave up a three-run homerun in the top of the seventh. But the girls did not quit. Weslin Jones singled with one out in the bottom of the inning showing her leadership. So many times, you see teams fold when faced with adversity like this, but they didn’t. We got a break when Harter reached on an error behind her. With Haley Bootle on deck, they made the decision to walk Linley Jones to load the bases. Bootle was 0-3 on the day but made it all good when she laced the game-winning hit to left field. It’s storybook really.”
As of press time, Martin was awaiting word on the fate of his team’s season. “We’ll be crushed if there’s not a route to play out some balance of our schedule including the playoffs,” said Martin. “When I accepted this position, I said that I believed in the athletes that we had returning. They’ve not disappointed. Ten games in, I believe in them even more.”
As of Monday March 16, SCISA suspended all interscholastic athletics from Sunday March 15 until Friday April 3 in response to COVID-19. The statement said: “The South Carolina Independent School Association is working with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to actively monitor the novel coronavirus outbreak and the potential impact to our state. SCISA continues to work closely with DHEC and the CDC to ensure our planning is based on the best available information from public health experts. I am speaking daily with educational leaders on the COVID-19 and making the best, informed plans. SCISA will update the membership as information is made available. “The South Carolina Independent School Association places the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, parents, supporters and officials first and foremost.”