By CINDY CROSBY
The Colleton County Lady Cougar Softball team was eliminated from post-season play following back-to-back losses to Darlington High School (3-2, 8-4) in last week’s SCHSL AAAA Lower-State Championship series. The Lady Cougars finished the 2021 season with an exceptional 18-2 overall record and went undefeated in Region VII-AAAA.
The Lady Cougars fell 3-2 in game one of the best-of-three series Monday May 24. In the bottom of the first inning, Sydney Howard drove in Shandi Brown to put Colleton County on top 1-0. However, Darlington answered in the top of the second on a double and a sacrifice to tie the game. Maggie Kennedy singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning and would score after Darlington recorded back-to-back errors in the field. At the end of the sixth inning, Colleton County remained on top 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, Darlington would put the go-ahead run on base following a double and a single and would load the bases after M. Andrews drew a walk. A single and an error would put Darlington ahead 3-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Colleton County threatened but stranded runners in scoring position.
Weathers took the loss in the circle, allowing two earned runs on nine hits, striking out one and issuing a single walk across seven innings. Maggie Kennedy was 3-3 at the plate and scored once. Brown, Bailey Cox, and Sydney Howard recorded multiple hits in the game and Shamorie Overton was 1-3.
In a must-win situation, Colleton County traveled to Darlington High School for game two of the series Wednesday May 26. The Lady Cougars led 4-0 after four innings and seemed to be in the driver’s seat early-on. Darlington then scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth after three singles, a triple, a double and an error in the field. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Darlington added three runs to make it 8-4. The Lady Cougars would see their post-season come to an end after a scoreless top of the seventh.
Weathers allowed three earned runs on nine hits, striking out four across six innings. Jordan Slocum was 3-4 with 2-RBI’s. Shandi Brown was 2-3 and Kennedy was 2-4 at the plate. Weathers, Howard, Makayla Chisolm, and Brown had a hit each.
“It is never easy losing, but this season was a little harder,” said Coach Tootie Edwards. “Watching my daughter, along with Whitley and Sydney, play their last high school game was heart wrenching. I had high hopes of us going all the way this year, and the Lady Cougars gave it their all. I must remember things never happened on our time, but on God’s time. While we keep nudging at winning a state championship, I truly believe our day is coming. So, until next season, ladies keep your chin up and be proud because I know our year is coming – this I know.”
Colleton County will graduate three seniors from their roster including Weathers, Overton, and Howard, leaving them with an experienced catcher, outfield and infield corners heading into next season. The Lady Cougars greatest struggle will be experience in the circle as Weathers handled the pitching duties nearly solo the entire season.