Byrnes softball wins 10th straight district championship

Trey Stewart's picture
Hannon, Yarrell lead Lady Rebels
By: 
Trey Stewart

Some traditions aren’t meant to be broken easily.

Byrnes softball winning playoff district championships? Ten years in a row, that one’s still holding strong.

Lady Rebels junior Kaylee Hannon hit a home run and pitched two scoreless innings on Wednesday night, as Byrnes took down Blythewood 7-4 to win the Class 5-A District 4 playoff championship.

Hannon summed up Byrnes’ dominance pretty well after the win.

“I guess it’s the 10th annual Byrnes softball district championship,” Hannon said with a grin. “This is the fifth one I’ve been a part of.”

Byrnes jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead after three innings, thanks in part to both Hannon’s home run and two extra-base hits from junior Ellanie Yarrell. Yarrell finished the night 2-4 with two RBIs.

“I was ready to attack. I wasn’t seeing a bunch of good pitches, but I told myself that when I did see something I liked, I would take it,” said Yarrell. “That’s exactly what I did.”

After the Lady Rebels got off to a hot start, however, their bats quickly died down. Blythewood’s heated up in the fifth inning.

The Lady Bengals put four runs on the board in the top of the fifth—the most runs Byrnes has surrendered in a single frame this year.

But Byrnes settled in from there. Hannon came in to pitch the final two innings and shut Blythewood down, sealing Byrnes’ 10th straight trip to upper state.

When the going gets tough for Byrnes, which doesn’t happen that often, Hannon is who the Lady Rebels turn to.

“I love the feeling of ‘Uh oh, we’re in trouble. Let’s go get Kaylee,’” said Hannon. “I love helping my team when they need it. Whether we’re in a good or bad situation, I’m there to help pick us up.”

Byrnes head coach Brandi Aiken offered her own perspective on the Lady Rebels’ shaky fifth inning.

“As frustrated as I might have been with that inning, we probably needed that,” said Aiken. “We haven’t given up four runs in an inning this year. We hadn’t been scored on at all in these playoffs. A little adversity is good for us.”

Byrnes' 10th straight district championship slides them into Class 5-A upper state, where they will face T.L. Hanna on Friday. The Lady Rebels will travel to Anderson on Friday with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.

Byrnes is chasing its fourth state championship in the past 10 years.

“We have a standard at Byrnes, and I know none of these girls wants to drop the ball on what other teams have done before them,” said Aiken. “We know that pressure is a privilege. This time of year, we just have to remember how fortunate we are to be in a place like this, still playing softball.”

GAME RECAP

Blythewood
0 0 0 0 4 0 0 - 4

Byrnes
2 3 2 0 0 0 X - 7

BYRNES STAT LEADERS

Ellanie Yarrell - 2-4, 2 RBI, R
Kaylee Hannon - 1-2, 2 RBI, R
Brooklyn Amble - 1-3, 2 RBI, R
Mia Johnson - 1-3, RBI, R

Winning Pitcher: Maddie Wiant - 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, BB, 4 K
Save: Kaylee Hannon - 2 IP, H, 4 K

trey@greercitizen.com | 877-2076

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