YOUTH SOFTBALL: Storm finishes 2nd; Sharks’ trio contributes to Downtime’s title

The Lowcountry Storm 18U softball team went 3-1 and earned a runner-up finish Saturday at the USSSA Ladies of the Diamond tournament in Walterboro. 

Storm did not allow a run until the final inning of the tournament, scoring three shutout victories before falling 4-2 to an S.C. Downtime featuring three May River High School players in the championship game. 

Cierra Kinlaw and KK Bradshaw combined on a one-hitter in a 15-0 win over Georgia Misfits to open pool play, as Gabby Ximenez went 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs to lead the offensive outburst. Kinlaw struck out the side and walked one in one inning of work, and Bradshaw notched three strikeouts and allowed one hit over two frames. Raven Dunham went 2-for-3 with two doubles and scored twice, and Madison Sanchez was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. 

Storm locked up the top seed with a 5-0 win over S.C. Badkatz Voss, as Kinlaw struck out five and walked one in a no-hitter, and Ximenez, Sanchez, and Lexi Perry each had two hits and an RBI.

The teams hooked up again in the semifinals, and Kinlaw again blanked the Badkatz, striking out six and allowing three hits in a five-inning shutout. Caleigh Powell was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs to lead the offense. 

Storm appeared to be headed for another shutout in the championship game, taking a 1-0 lead to the sixth on Perry’s RBI single in the second, but S.C. Downtime erupted for four runs in the sixth and stranded two runners in the bottom of the inning to preserve the win.

May River’s Morgan Kinlaw-Scott opened the big inning for Downtime with a triple and scored on Hailey Hill’s double. Scott went 3-for-6 with two triples over the weekend, and May River teammate Ana Caraballo pitched seven innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out eight. The Sharks’ Claire Caraballo also contributed the Downtime’s 4-0 weekend and gold bracket title.

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