Survive and advance. That was the message Myrtle coach Marty Cook gave to his team, and they delivered with two, one-run wins over Houlka to advance out of the play-in round of the 1A north half playoffs.
“We just survived March madness,” Cook said. “We’ve had some big wins this year, winning by 10 or more runs, but I told them that this is the playoffs, and we’re not going to have those type of games anymore. This is the best three teams from each division, and we’re going to get everyone’s best. If we can survive and advance with these one run wins, I’ll take it.”
Myrtle took a 1-0 lead in the series after winning at Houlka, 6-5, on Saturday. In game two, Meshay Cox put the Lady Hawks out front early, 2-0, hitting a triple that plated Alie Bishop, and the senior scored on a throwing error.
Myrtle maintained the 2-0 lead until the fourth inning, as Shanice McKinney’s triple and a Lady Hawk error tied the game.
Bishop put Myrtle back in front in the fifth, plating Keely Chunn on a double, and the Lady Hawks’ defense held strong in the sixth and seventh innings, keeping Houlka from scoring any more, leaving five runners on base over the two innings, including a bases loaded jam with two outs in the sixth.
“It starts on the mound, and Audrey Kent has been great for us,” Cook said of the defense. “She’s struggled some, but she’s come through for us when we’ve needed her the most. It’s a testament to her and how she’s hit her spots, and both defenses played great.”
Bishop led the Lady Hawks’ offense with two hits, and Myrtle will next face Greenville St. Joe this weekend. The series is expected to start on Friday at Myrtle.