White Knoll Lady Timberwolf Softball Celebrates 5A State Softball Championship
31-2 Season culminated in nail biting title game victory against Byrnes
White Knoll, SC (James Bowers) - The White Knoll Timberwolf Softball squad recently took up more room in the school’s trophy case, overcoming a first-round lower state playoffs loss, to make it to a state title bout with James F. Byrnes High. The girls from WKHS needed to win twice to lay claim to the 5A softball crown, and after picking up a 2-1 victory over the Rebels in the opening game, the stage was set for a thriller. ‘It was a 1-0 game for a while,” WK softball coach April Farr said. “The fourth inning was really where it became a nail biter. Both teams had opportunities to score a lot of runs, but we held them down with stellar defense,” Farr said. She was alluding to a situation where Byrnes loaded the bases only to fail to capitalize when three straight Rebel batters were struck out. The Timberwolves were able to add a few more runs and kept playing solid defense, culminating in a 6-2 victory. The triumph over Byrnes earned state title No. 1 for both White Knoll High and Coach Farr. Farr is in her fifth season with White Knoll in the Red Bank area of the county. She previously served as an assistant with Blythewood, Spring Valley, and Brookland-Cayce.
The former USC softball player is proud of her squad who put together a sensational 31-2 mark, a campaign that included a 13-game winning streak and the Region 5-5A title. “My entire team stands out to me,” Farr said. Among the stars for the Lady Timberwolves is pitcher Andrea Lyon, who had 27 wins to anchor what Farr calls a “phenomenal” defense. “She carried the load the whole season. She’s a phenomenal athlete, and a phenomenal kid.” Lyon also had 13 home runs during her White Knoll career and is committed to play for Gardner-Webb. Other T-Wolf stars include first base anchor and senior Ginna Leaphart, a C of C commit, who led the team in batting averages and picked up nine home runs. Junior shortstop Hannah Goodwin broke White Knoll’s all-time home run record, hitting 31 homers during her career, including a walk-off game winner in a 2018 playoff game against Ashley Ridge. Goodwin is slated to play college baseball in the ACC with the NC State Wolfpack.
Fellow senior Maddie Miller was the cornerstone at third base with Farr calling her a “stellar” defensive player. Catcher Lexi Winters is only an eighth grader, something an observer would never guess as her talent prompted Farr to let her call pitches for Lyon and company during the season. Winters caught every single inning for the T-Wolves and possessed a .988 fielding average while catching 6 of 18 stolen base attempts. Other WK notables include “error-free” center fielder Libby Williams, the rock of a great outfield that included left-fielder Taylor Newton and right-fielder Bri Workman. “I can’t name enough of them,” Farr said. “They’re amazing!”
Coming off of a 5A runner-up campaign in 2016-17, White Knoll’s season saw a whole lot of winning and only a couple of bumps in the road. One of the only blemishes on the WKHS record came in a spring break tournament, which Farr actually saw as a positive. “When you’ve been winning, winning, winning, it’s not so bad to lose and get a taste (of motivation and defeat) again.” The loss was followed by a 13-game winning streak. White Knoll also lost their opening lower state playoff game to Ashley Ridge, a setback that forced the Wolves to fight through the losers’ bracket, a feat which saw them beat rival Lexington and win two rematches with Ashley Ridge. “That (playing in the losers’ bracket) showed our heart, to see that they could fight through it and not crumble was an awesome thing,” Farr said. “Ashley Ridge is a very, very good team, and to beat them twice was definitely a highlight.”
Farr is optimistic about the future of the Timberwolf program. She only graduates two seniors this season, and the squad is loaded with quality depth going into 2018/19.