HAGERSTOWN — It’s been said that timing is everything.
The South Hagerstown softball team had timing issues all afternoon Thursday — from timing the opponent’s pitcher to untimely miscues and aggressiveness on the bases.
And in the end, it was timely hitting on the part of Kennedy, which got a pair of bases-loaded singles in the top of the seventh inning to rally for a 12-11 win over the Rebels in the first round of the Maryland Class 3A West playoffs at South.
“We didn’t have much emotion,” said South coach Angie Jeffries. “We didn’t decide we wanted to play ball until the third inning. When they step on the field, they have to be ready to play.
The timing just wasn’t right for South (0-17) on Thursday.
Kennedy caught the Rebels on their heels early, scoring four runs on four hits in the first — including a two-run triple by Alexa Wathen — then taking advantage of three South errors in the third to add two more runs.
“I don’t think in the first two innings we were ready to play ball. And they scored six runs in the first three innings,” Jeffries said. “The first couple balls hit didn’t get hit out of the infield and we don’t make the play. I honestly think that determined the outcome of the game.”
In the seventh, the Cavaliers loaded the bases on a walk and two hit batters, then got seeing-eye hits from winning pitcher Kayla Franzese and Wathen to right field to turn an 11-10 deficit into a 12-11 lead.
The Rebels struggled to adjust to the slower speeds of Franzese. She retired South on four pitches in the first as the Rebels overswung attempting to put the ball onto South Potomac St.
The Rebels got one run back in the second on an RBI single by Katie Forsythe, but she was later retired between first and second. Courtney Showe also singled in the inning but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
South climbed back into the game in the bottom of the third, sending 10 hitters to the plate. Taylor Leather ripped a two-run triple to center and Showe and Kaitlyn Mades had RBI singles to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 6-5.
Randi Bartlett’s RBI double in the fourth tied the score and Showe drove in Bartlett with the go-ahead run. In the fifth, Shayna Bickford had an RBI double to extend South’s lead to 8-6.
After Kennedy regained the lead with a four-run sixth inning, South took it back with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Showe had an RBI triple and Forsythe an RBI double.
Showe finished with four hits and three RBIs, Forsythe had three hits and Bickford, Bartlett and Mades had two each.
Kennedy 12, South Hagerstown 11
Kennedy 402 004 2 — 12 11 2
South 014 213 0 — 11 16 5
Franzese and Santos. Bickford, Hinkle (7), Bickford (7) and Showe. WP — Franzese. LP — Hinkle.