Autumn Gravel probably thought several times Monday she was playing her final high school softball game.
As Battery Creek High School's only senior, she sweated while her team batted in extra innings of its Class 2-A, District 5 home playoff game against Edisto. A group with the Dolphins' youth couldn't be expected too many chances in the postseason, could it?
But Battery Creek's underclassmen came through big, defeating Edisto 13-12 in nine innings to avoid elimination and play Silver Bluff on Wednesday for a shot at the district championship.
The Dolphins, who lost at Silver Bluff 9-4 last week to fall into the elimination game, would have to win twice on Wednesday to advance.
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"We've come so far now, we're definitely going to come in there wanting it," said freshman pitcher Kyleigh Peeples, who threw all nine innings Monday and came through in two big spots at the plate late in the game.
Battery Creek came to bat trailing in each of the final three innings. Edisto led by two in the seventh and eighth innings and by three -- 12-9 -- entering the bottom of the ninth, after the international tiebreaker had been instituted.
Each time, Battery Creek found a way back.
Seventh-grader Julianne Greer tied the game in the bottom of the seventh with an inside-the-park home run to score two runs.
"I don't even remember the seventh inning," Greer said with a laugh. "I was just looking to make contact, hit something out of the infield and get runs in."
In the bottom of the eighth and Battery Creek again down two, Michaux Gee bunted her way on and scored the tying run.
The winning two runs scored on Peeples' infield hit with two outs in the ninth to set off the home crowd.
Peeples said she went to the plate not knowing there were two outs and jumped on an outside pitch, not taking a chance on a called strike.
"The more pressure that was put on them, the better they did," said Battery Creek coach Stephanie Cox, who chatted with the home fans about keeping their cool as the game remained tight. "They stuck together as a team and worked as a whole. I couldn't have asked for anything better from any of them."
Battery Creek beat Edisto for the second time, having won 4-1 at home in the opening game.
Errors doomed the Dolphins at Silver Bluff the first time, Cox said.
"I feel like we let ourselves down that game," she said. "I look forward to going back and playing like we did tonight."
Follow reporter Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.
Battery Creek 13, Edisto 12
Edisto 000 600 123 -- 12 14 6
Battery Creek 200 003 224 -- 13 13 5
WP: Kyleigh Peeples 9 IP, 6 K, 14 H, 2 BB
LP: Kayla Phillips 9 IP, 4 K 13 H, 5 HBP, BB
Top hitters: Edisto -- Taylor Proctor 4 for 5, HR, 6 RBIs. Battery Creek -- Jessica Shipley 3 for 4, BB, R; Michaux Gee 3 for 5, 2 R; Julianne Greer 2 for 3, HR, 2 RBIs.