The playoff run was looking bleak three innings in, but May River softball found a way late to stave off elimination Monday night.
Hannah Downey broke a 5-5 tie with a two-run double in the sixth, and the Sharks overcame an early three-run deficit at home to top James Island 7-5 and keep their season alive in the SCHSL Class 4A District 4 tournament.
May River opened the scoring in the first inning, as pitcher Ana Caraballo lined a double to plate two runs and take a 2-0 lead. But the Trojans stormed back in the next two frames, scoring one in the second before rattling off four more in the third to take control at 5-2.
After leaving a pair of baserunners in the third inning, the Shark offense came through in the fourth to get right back in the game. A Caroline Sapochak double and Reilly Wake base on balls put two runners on, and Giovana Rodriguez picked up a one-out single to load the bases. Then Caraballo did it again, ripping another double to score two more and trim the lead to just a run before a fielder’s choice groundout knotted the elimination game at 5.
Both teams left two on in the fifth inning, but May River took advantage of its opportunity in the sixth. With runners on first and second with two outs, Downey seized the moment, crushing a double to score Ruthie Roman and Macey Dowe to snatch a 7-5 lead. Caraballo finished the job in the top of the seventh, shutting down a late rally to seal the win and eliminate her region rival.
The freshman was phenomenal in the circle and at the plate, throwing all seven innings and allowing just two earned runs while going 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs. Sapochak impressed from the ninth spot in the lineup, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Dowe added a pair of hits, and Roman tacked on a key RBI.
May River (12-9) travels to Darlington on Wednesday to battle the Falcons for a spot in the District 4 championship, where the winner will have to knock off North Augusta twice to advance to the Lower State championship series.
By Wes Kerr