Paying Tribute

Blue Flame douse Green Wave on Military Appreciation Night

By Bru Nimmons
Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Hosting Military and First Responders Appreciation Night last Tuesday, the Pickens Blue Flame held off a late Easley rally to capture a 7-5 win on the softball diamond.

“It was a tremendous team effort,” Pickens head coach Lizzie Fela said. “Our defense was able to come together and support our senior pitcher, Autumn Barnhardt. Every single player contributed to this win, whether on the field, through hitting or pumping us up from the bench. I am so proud of them.”

After an early Easley run on an RBI single by Maggie Spence, the Blue Flame took control of the action, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second on RBI singles from Kylie Meece, Ella Grace Lawton and Ashlyn Knight.

The Blue Flame lead continued to grow in the fourth, starting with an RBI double by Knight that brought home Emma Mitchell. Amber Clark and Kaylee Bolding brought home two more runs in the inning to increase the lead to 6-1 heading to the fifth.

The bleeding continued for the Green Wave in the fifth as Kylie Thornall scored on an error for Pickens.

While the Blue Flame lead was growing in the middle innings, Easley struggled to get on the board, with Barnhardt keeping the Wave bats in check.

Heading into the top of the seventh up 7-1, Pickens seemed to be  in a safe spot, with Barhardt giving up just five hits and one run through the first six innings.

However, the Green Wave finally got going in the batter’s box with a Rylee Saxon single to lead off the inning. An error allowed Spence to reach base, and a single for Maddie Haynes loaded the bases for Easley and they managed to get on the board for the first time since the second inning on an Emily Morgan single.

A sacrifice fly from Emily Faasse cut the lead to 7-3, but Barnhardt got a much-needed strikeout against College of Charleston softball commitment MK Scott.

Needing just one out for the win, the Blue Flame were bit by two errors, allowing two more runs to score, before picking up  the final out to secure the 7-5 victory.

For her efforts on the night, Barnhardt picked up the win and finished the night with just two earned runs and four strikeouts in the complete-game effort.

While happy with the result for her team in the rivalry matchup, Fela also made sure to  stress the meaning of the night after the game.

“We want to thank all the military and first responders who came out to the game,” Fela said. “This game was meant to honor and recognize them for their amazing service to our country and community.”


Pickens 7, Easley 5

EHS 010 000 4 5 8 2

PHS 030 310 X 7 13 3


WP: Barnhardt 7 IP, 8H, 2ER,  4K

LP: Haynes 6 IP, 13H, 7ER, BB, 4K

PHS: Knight 3-3, 2 RBI, R; Thornall 3-3, 2R.

EHS: Morgan 2-4, RBI, R; Saxon 2-3, R.