Wando softball put away Beaufort, 5-3, at home Thursday in the opening round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
No. 2 seeded Wando (15-9) travels to No. 1 Lexington Saturday in the second round of the District V bracket. Lexington powered past Irmo, 17-7, Thursday at home.
Freshman right-hander Alyssa Heinrich earned the win for Wando, allowing three runs off six hits and four walks while striking out four in seven innings. With two on, two outs in the top of the seventh, Heinrich forced Beaufort to fly out to seal the win.
Kendall Schweers scored off a wild pitch and Brooke Gilbert drove in Mattie Willis to give the Warriors a two-run lead in the first inning.
Natalie Moore earned a run back for the Eagles in the third, scoring Michelle Brown with a sacrifice RBI. Gilbert answered for Wando in the bottom frame with a single to score Caroline Stanton.
Beaufort walked in a run in the fourth before Gilbert hit a sacrifice fly to score Bannister and open a four-run lead. Gilbert finished 2 for 2 with three RBIs as the Warriors' only multi-hit player.
Moore doubled to drive in a run and Mari Cooke singled to bring home a second for Beaufort in the sixth. With the tying run on first, Heinrich threw a three-pitch strikeout to end the frame and thwart the rally attempt. Cooke finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and Moore 1 for 3 with two RBIs for Beaufort.
Lexington and Wando met in the postseason for the second straight year. Wando defeated Lexington in back-to-back games last year to win the district and advance into the Lower State quarterfinals.
Frankie Mansfield, the sports reporter for the Moultrie News can be seen all around the state following teams to meets, games, and matches. For score updates, breaking sports news, and more, follow @fjmansfield on Twitter and like Moultrie News Sports on Facebook.