Triton was unable to get its bats going in a 4-1 nonconference varsity softball loss to visiting Cleveland Thursday.
“I thought we played well defensively,” said Triton coach Mark Whitman. “Well enough to win. We made two mental errors. I think overall, we hit the ball hard at times, but right at somebody. We just didn’t get the timely hit. Bottom line. It was a pitching duel for the most part. I thought both pitchers pitched well. I’m proud of the team tonight. We hit it hard. We just didn’t get that timely hit.”
Whitman saw a lot of positive in spite of the loss.
“I think this was a good game for us tonight,” he said. “I think we learned from this game tonight. I really think that this was a good game to learn from. Cleveland’s a good team. I think if we take and learn from the small things from this game, it makes us better.”
Senior pitcher Leanna Whaley went the distance for the Hawks (11-3), yielding three earned runs on four hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.
“I think Leanna is getting back where she needs to be,” Whitman said. “I’ve got confidence in her. She’s got confidence in herself.”
Junior AnnaKate Gilchrist took the complete game win in the circle for the Rams (7-2), giving up one earned run on three hits and two walks, with nine strikeouts.
“AnnaKate kind of caught us off guard the last couple of innings,” Whitman said. “She hadn’t thrown a changeup all night and saw us swinging out of our shoes trying to make something happen and caught us off guard. She threw well tonight.”
Haley Hicks had a pair of doubles, Kaila Cooney had one hit and one RBI and Ella Layn scored once for Triton.
“It’s all about pitch selection,” Whitman said. “I’ve got to get in their heads that there’s three strikes in a count. If there’s two balls and a strike, they don’t have to chase that next one. They can be more selective.”
Gilchrist had two hits and one run scored and Julia Wiggs had a triple, one RBI and one run scored to lead Cleveland.
Abygale Posey had one hit and one run scored, Kayla Womack and Caris Allen each had one RBI and Lauren Watson scored once.
In the top of the fourth inning, Watson drew a walk and Gilchrist followed with Cleveland’s first hit of the game before both scored on a triple from Wiggs, who scored on a ground ball from Allen.
Posey led off the fifth with a walk, advanced on a Peyton Jenkins sacrifice and an error and scored on a ground ball from Womack.
Triton’s lone run came in the bottom of the fifth. Whaley drew a walk and Layn, her courtesy runner, advanced on a Kathryn Elliott sacrifice and scored on a base hit from Cooney.
On Friday, Triton travels to Tri-County Six 3-A Conference foe Southern Lee (0-11), which dropped a 12-inning contest 6-5 to visiting Overhills on Thursday. The Hawks won 12-0 in five innings at home against the Cavaliers on Tuesday.