Triton shut out visiting rival Midway 6-0 to give the Raiders their first varsity softball loss of the season on Monday night.
The Hawks also posted a shutout in girls soccer, topping visiting Midway, 3-0.
“I’ve been very pleased,” said Triton softball coach Mark Whitman. “I think I’ve got the combination where I need it right now. We’re executing the plays we need to make. Pitching was outstanding tonight. We did all the right things tonight. We got hits when we needed them. We got big hits with two outs tonight. Ella (Layn) came up big again with two outs tonight and got us going. It’s contagious. I don’t want to jell quick, but I want us to continue to improve every game like we’re doing.”
Midway coach Leigh Ann Smith said the Raiders struggled with Triton sophomore pitcher Gracyn Slaughter’s change-up.
“That first pitcher, that’s a nasty change-up,” Smith said. “We just couldn’t lay off of it tonight. She had so much confidence in it, she was throwing it for the first pitch against my strongest batters. And then we had some base running miscues. Not what I wanted to come in here and do. I at least wanted us to score some runs. But that’s a tough team to score runs against.”
Slaughter pitched six innings to take the win for the Hawks (2-1), giving up no runs on three hits and one walk, with seven strikeouts. Junior Caroline Marshall pitched one inning, allowing no runs on one hit.
“Gracyn kept them off balance tonight,” Whitman said. “When her change-up is on, she’s as good as anybody. (Assistant coach) Louie (Slaughter) is doing a great job calling pitches. He’s been a godsend, him helping coach this year.”
Starter Miranda Holmes was the pitcher of record for the Raiders (2-1). In six innings, the sophomore yielded two earned runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter, with one strikeout. Sophomore Mackenzie Maynor pitched one inning, giving up no runs on three hits.
Sophomore Kaila Cooney had three hits, one RBI and one run scored and senior Alexis Howard had three hits, including a double, and two runs scored to lead Triton at the plate.
Triton freshman Reagan Bradham was perfect at the plate for the second straight game, going 2-for-2, with one RBI and one run scored.
Slaughter had a double and three RBIs. Ella Layn had one hit and one RBI. Tatiana Muniz had one hit. Tyler Grace Gamblin and Tristan Ennis scored one run apiece.
Junior Caitlyn Holland and sophomores Jega Dapuyen, Sydney Williams and Bella Bryant had one hit apiece for Midway.
Triton got on the board in the bottom of the second when Bradham drew a walk, advanced on a Mackenzie Reid sacrifice and scored on a base hit from Layn.
In the third inning, Muniz reached on an error followed by a Howard single. After Cooney reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Muniz forced out at third for the second out of the inning, Ireland was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Slaughter doubled to score Howard, Cooney and Ennis, Ireland’s courtesy runner. Gamblin, running for Slaughter, then scored on a base hit from Bradham.
Triton added one more run in the fifth when Howard doubled and scored on a base hit from Cooney.
Midway opens East Central 2-A Conference play at Spring Creek on Tuesday.
“We’ve got to hit the ball like we did against Harnett Central (Midway had 15 hits in a 10-8 win at Central),” Smith said. “We’ve got to make better decisions baserunning. We can beat anybody, it just depends on who shows up that night.”
Triton travels to Corinth Holders on Tuesday and returns home to face Rosewood on Wednesday.
We’ve never played good at Corinth,” Whitman said. “And then we’ve got a tough Rosewood team on Wednesday. They’ve got some big hitters. We’ve just got to come ready to roll.”
Hernandez provides lead in soccer
In girls soccer, sophomore Sheila Hernandez scored two first half goals for the Hawks.
Triton took the lead at 22:59 as Wendy Campos assisted. Hernandez had an unassisted goal at 27:47.
The Hawks (2-1) got a second half goal as Billie Kate Pope converted a feed from Elizabeth Pope in the 79th minute.
Peyton Briggs and Caitlyn Ahl shared time in goal in the shutout.
Triton visits Smithfield-Selma for a game tonight at 6:30. Midway (0-2-2) opens East Central 2-A Conference play at Spring Creek tonight at 6.