Beaufort High School softball coach Doug Plank, from his spot in the dugout Monday, asked his players to stay focused.
The Eagles were up big in their final non-region game of the regular season. Plank wanted them sharp for Wednesday's Region 8-AAAA opener at Fort Dorchester.
"Guys, we've got to stay in the game here," he yelled, with Battery Creek High School batting in the top of the third inning. "We've got to work at it."
Beaufort High closed out the crosstown rival Dolphins 15-1 in five innings. Eagles right fielder Jessica Bennett, less than a week after returning from injuries suffered during a car crash, was 3 for 3, driving in five runs, including a home run. Maddie Berry drove in four runs for Beaufort High, which improved to 5-1 before the start of region play.
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Plank, in his first full season coaching the Eagles, thinks consecutive home Friday matchups with Summerville and then Bluffton could prove key to the Eagles' region chances.
To prepare, he shuffled the look against Battery Creek, getting Presley Thomas time at first base and center fielder Natalie Moore a shot behind the plate.
Jenny Mullins started in the circle for Beaufort High and struck out five in two innings. Mori Cook finished off the victory.
A young Battery Creek team started fast in its first season in Class 2-A and is 4-0 in Region 6. But the Eagles overpowered a lineup Monday that lacks senior pitching.
Dolphins coach Richard Jarrett, whose team slipped to 4-2, said he has been pleased with his infield, especially shortstop Augusta Schubert, and that Autumn Gravel has transitioned well to a move to third base.
"It's a JV lineup," Jarrett said. "We're only talking about three seniors. And that's what's good, that's what makes you smile at the end of it."
The Dolphins coach, a former junior varsity coach brought back from retirement this season, said he hoped for more practice time to bring his young team along, but with three games each week, work is limited.
The Eagles wore pink Monday in support of breast cancer awareness and as part of school service projects. The team will hold its annual barbecue fundraiser when it hosts Bluffton on March 29.
Plank, who has led several projects to improve the softball field and dugouts since taking over, hopes for a successful fundraising haul and a win against Beaufort High's new region rivals.
He's guilty of looking ahead, at least a little.
"If we could get past Summerville and Bluffton somehow, we'd be in pretty good shape," Plank said. "But it's a long road yet."
Battery Creek 000 10X -- 1 3 0
Beaufort High 744 0XX -- 15 11 0
W: Jenny Mullins (5-1) 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
L: Olivia Nolan 2 IP.
Top hitters: Battery Creek -- Augusta Schubert 1-2, RBI. Beaufort High -- Jessica Bennett 3-3, HR, 5 RBIs; Maddie Berry 3-3, 4 RBIs; Jenny Mullins 2-2, 2 RBIs.