NORTH AUGUSTA — Pitcher Sydney Seigler didn’t want to think about how her team would respond if those base runners became runs and North Augusta needed to hit in the seventh.
She needed only a couple pitches to end any worry.
The senior got out of a jam as the North Augusta softball team beat North Dorchester, 1-0, on Thursday evening at Riverview Park in a SCHSL Class AAAA state playoff game. The Lady Jackets next visit Wando at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“She’s a big-time pitcher,” said North Augusta coach Derrick Quinn, adding that while one can’t always depend on hitting, “you can count on pitching and defense.”
Seigler fought through a blister to allow only three batters to reach all game, with two of those coming in the seventh.
But a walk, single and passed ball were all followed by a strikeout on a nasty changeup and then a pop up to the catcher.
Along with Seigler’s dominance – she struck out five consecutive batters in the third and fourth innings – North Augusta (22-3) showcased impressive defense.
The solid play in the field included Jackie Hill’s inning-ending double play in the second. With a runner on, the second baseman gobbled up a grounder, tagged the Lady Patriot heading to second and then threw to first for the second out.
“She’s super,” Quinn said about Hill. “She might be the best second baseman I’ve ever had.”
But the Lady Jackets’ offense wasn’t as strong. North Augusta scored a run in the first and was quiet after that.
Gregory smacked a single to left for a two-out RBI and that lone run, but the Lady Jackets missed out on other chances.
A bases-loaded, two-out situation in the fourth ended with nothing, and a threat in the sixth was silenced when a runner was gunned down trying to go home after a flyout. Even so, North Augusta, the defending Lower State champion, got enough to begin the state playoffs with a victory.
“We’re going to prove ourselves again,” Seigler said.