Sports: Warrior seasons end at Hanahan
The Waccamaw High softball team left everything on the field at Hanahan on Wednesday. Needing two wins to claim the District VI-AA championship, the Warriors defeated the Hawks 3-2 in the opener before falling 10-6 in the nightcap.
The loss brought the season to a close for the Warriors (19-12), but coach Scott Streiffert is already looking ahead to next season.
“We have almost everybody returning,” Steiffert said. “We have a good nucleus to build around and have very high hopes for our future. We’re not going to look back, we are going to look forward.”
McKenzie Lugin pitched the opener for Waccamaw, yielding only six hits and walking none. Melaina Moore and Hallie Butler each had two hits to lead the offense for the Warriors, whose three runs were all unearned.
“We felt really good after the first game,” Streiffert said. “We pushed [Hanahan] as hard as we could, our girls did everything we asked. We just came up a little bit short.”
Hanahan took an early 5-0 lead in the second game only to see the Warriors rally and build a 6-5 advantage. But the Hawks - who had staged a come-from-behind 11-10 victory over Waccamaw on Saturday - were again able to respond and went on to capture the district title.
“Historically, they are a team that has always been capable of coming back,” Streiffert said. “No lead is ever safe against them.
“But I feel the same way about our kids. We played hard all season and proved we could hang in there in tough situations. I’m proud of that and proud of our kids for the effort they gave all year.”
The Waccamaw High baseball team also visited Hanahan on Wednesday, but Hawks pitcher Bret Hines dashed any hopes of the Warriors pulling an upset in the District VI finale. A Citadel signee, Hines allowed only two hits and struck out eight as Hanahan advanced to the Lower State tournament with a 10-0 victory.
“He never let us into the game,” said Waccamaw coach Jeff Gregory, whose team closed the season with a 14-14 record. “He mixed his pitches up well and didn’t give us much.
“This was a good learning year for us. We had a lot of younger players, and a having a year of experience under their belts will help them down the road. We have a talented group and we are capable of doing special things. It’s up to us to put in the work it takes to make that happen.”
Luke Freeman and Paxton Buckner each had a hit for Waccamaw.
“Hanahan is an outstanding team,” Gregory said. “They have six players who have committed to playing college baseball. With their experience and talent, they are a tough team for anyone to try and match up with.”