Late Seneca surge proves costly

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

CENTRAL — Following a walk-off loss to the Seneca Bobcats just two days prior, the Daniel Lions softball team looked for revenge against their heated foe on Thursday night.

That revenge never came though, as the Lions gave up two late runs in a 3-1 loss.

“We fought Tuesday when Seneca scored late on us,” Daniel head coach Mary Cate Garrett said. “But tonight, we just kind of laid down and that’s just not the kind of team we want to be.”

“I told them we have to change our attitudes — tomorrow is a new day, and we just have to bounce back by playing innning to inning.”

Things started off pretty slow in the first inning, with neither team managing to get a hit before Seneca opened things up in the top of the second.

With one out in the inning, Seneca first baseman Yaminah Ragwar-Hayes knocked a single into right field to become the first base runner of the game.

Ragwar-Hayes wasn’t on the basepaths for long, though, as third-baseman Ashlyn Brown came up to next and drove her home on a double to give the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead.

Things continued to look dire for the Lions, with Seneca second-baseman Campbell Crenshaw singling to put runners at the corners.

Needing to stop the bleeding, Daniel pitcher Ally Grace Batson went to work, striking out Bobcat catcher Georgia Jones. Then Brown was picked off at third, allowing the Lions to escape the inning.

Daniel right-fielder Chaney Crosby managed to add a single for the Lions in the bottom half of the second, but multiple strikeouts doomed the Lions and they were unable to put any runs on the board.

After a quick out, Bobcat center-fielder Saliah Ragwar-Hayes got on base with a single to get things going in the third.

That was the end of any offense for Seneca in the inning, though, as Daniel third-baseman Kinsley Dunn made a spectacular double play, grabbing a quick line out and then throwing Ragwar-Hayes out at first.

“Kinsley brings plenty of energy and fire over at third,” Garrett said. “She was a vaccuum out there tonight, and nothing was getting down third-base line.”

With momentum on their side, the Lions kicked off the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff single by first baseman Kate Woodall. Woodall was then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Reese Livingston.

Now with a runner in scoring position, Sarah Whitfield came to bat and drove Woodall to third on a single.

Dunn struck out at the plate to put the Lions in trouble with two outs before a single by shortstop Sarah King drove Woodall home. Whitfield tried to score as well, but was tagged out at the plate to end the inning.

Things stalled out for both teams in the fourth and fifth as Batson and Seneca pitcher Makenzie Martin mowed down batters at will.

The troubles returned for Daniel in the top of the sixth. After sandwiching a Martin single between two outs for the Bobcats, Yaminah Ragar-Hayes came up to bat and drove Martin home on a double to center field.

The offense kept moving for the Bobcats, with Brown driving Ragwar-Hayes in on a double of her own before Daniel was able to escape the inning.

The Lions’ issues in the batter’s box continued in the bottom of the sixth with two consecutive groundouts.

In the hole, the Lions managed to get the tying runners on base, with catcher Emily Garrett and King reaching on consecutive errors. However, the rally ended there with Batson grounding into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

A leadoff triple in the seventh by Jones threatened to make the Bobcats’ lead even bigger, but Batson battled back to get three straight outs and give Daniel the chance for a walkoff win.

That chance was less than fruitful for the Lions, as second-baseman Casey McJunkin and Crosby were swiftly taken out, giving Woodall the last chance for Daniel.

Woodall hit a fly ball to center field that was caught by the Bobcats to secure a 3-1 victory.

The Lions didn’t have much time to think on the loss as they headed to Crescent for a tournament.

“We’ve got a long tournament ahead.” Garrett said. “We’ll see some very good pitching, but it’s just another day to get better.”

The Lions had an up-and-down go at the tournament, finishing 1-2 with a win over Ninety Six and losses to Boiling Springs and Crescent.

The rest of the season is up in the air following the closing of schools until March 31 by S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina High School League canceling all spring sports activities until April 5 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Seneca 3, Daniel 1

SHS 010 002 0 — 3 9 2

DWD 001 000 0 — 1 4 1


WP — Martin, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K

LP — Batson, 7 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K


SHS — Brown, 2-2, 2 2B, 2 RBI; Y. Ragwar-Hayes 2-3, 2B, RBI, R.

DWD — King, 1-3, RBI; Woodall, 1-3, R.