But this time, it wasn’t in the cards and Berkeley’s pursuit of a possible Class AAA state title must be put on hold until next year as the Lady Stags were eliminated 3-2 by Socastee on the road on Thursday May 8.
After winning their second straight Region 8AAA title, the Lady Stags fell flat in the playoffs, losing to Socastee twice, first 1-0 in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs and then again on Thursday.
In between the Lady Stags administered a 14-4 drubbing of Marlboro County at Moncks Corner on Monday May 5.
“We hit the ball but we couldn’t get the runners home,” said Coach Boogie Grooms. “We had the bases loaded in the first inning but we couldn’t score, and from the fourth inning on we didn’t hit.”
Berkeley’s two runs came courtesy of Class AAA All State first teamer Blake Ponder.
In the top of the third Lexi Samples walked and Jessica Stanley singled to put runners on first and third and nobody out.
Ponder then delivered a scorching single to center that plated both Samples and Stanley to give Berkeley a 2-1 lead over the Lady Braves.
“Blake has been steady for us all year, both behind the plate and at the plate,” Grooms said.
That lead would be shortlived as Socastee answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third on a hit batter and three singles.
Berkeley’s second All-State first team member Brooklyn Stone pitched well enough to win within the circle, giving up just three runs - two earned - and scattered five hits, but did not get any offensive support at the plate.
“Brooklyn pitched well and when you give up just three runs you are supposed to win,” Grooms said. “The hits just didn’t come tonight.”
The Stags will have a long summer, fall and winter to stew on what happened in the 2014 playoffs, regroup next spring, and try again.
“We are still a very young team, but this young team will mature and learn from these last two years,” Grooms said.
At the plate Stanley led the Lady Stags with two of the total six hits for Berkeley on the night.
The Lady Stags finished the season with a 19-7 mark and their seccond consecutive Region 8AAA championship.
Ponder, who was also nominated as the Class AAA Player of the Year, said her team is just getting started.
“We want to work hard over the winter and come back next year and win a third region championship,” Ponder said.
The Class AAA Player of the Year announcement will be forthcoming.