Bob Layman has rarely worried about his Thomas Heyward Academy softball team's prowess at the plate. Even when only a handful of his hitters are seeing the ball well, the Rebels have little trouble racking up runs.
And when everybody's hot -- look out.
"We've got hitters 1 through 9," Layman said. "When they all hit, it's very, very dangerous."
The Rebels taught Colleton Prep that lesson Monday, pounding 12 hits in a 12-1 victory in the opener of their best-of-3 series for the SCISAA Class 2-A state championship.
Ashlie Layman and Andrea Daring each had three hits and an RBI, Kayla Canavan had a double, a home run and two RBIs, and Brielle Jungblut added a two-run triple for the Rebels (27-3), who can close out the series at home at 6 p.m. today.
It was no surprise the Rebels took the opener -- they won three of four regular-season games against the Warhawks -- but the dominant fashion in which they did so caught Bob Layman by surprise.
Ashlie Layman was dominant on the mound, allowing just one unearned run on four hits in a six-inning complete game, and Thomas Heyward beat up on Colleton Prep pitcher Kendall Jumper, scoring at least one run in each of the first four innings to build a big lead.
"I'd love to say I expected it," Bob Layman said. "It's definitely within us to do things like this, but they stepped up in the moment."
The moment is not a new one for the Rebels. They reached the SCISAA Class 3-A championship series last year before losing to Northwood Academy, and they began this season with high expectations after dropping to Class 2-A and returning all their key players.
Now they're just one win away from achieving their goal.
Layman said he would be surprised if the Rebels see Jumper again tonight -- the Warhawks have four quality pitchers, he said -- but regardless of who takes the mound, he has confidence in his lineup to provide plenty of support.
And Ashlie Layman and Rebels defense haven't required much support -- they've allowed just one run in four postseason games.
"They've got their sights set pretty high," Bob Layman said. "I'm sure they're going to come out jacked up and ready to go."
THA 143 103 -- 12 12 4
CPA 001 000 -- 1 4 4
WP: Ashlie Layman 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB.
LP: Kendall Jumper 6 IP, 12 H, 12 R, 0 K, 0 BB.
Top hitters: THA -- Ashlie Layman 3 for 4, 3 runs, 2 doubles, RBI; Andrea Daring 3 for 4, RBI; Taylor Ernestine 2 for 3, RBI; Kayla Canavan 2 for 2, HR, 2B, 2 RBIs; Brielle Jungblut 1 for 3, 3B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs.