Triton’s softball team had a much-needed strong performance in a 12-0 win over visiting Tri-County Six 3-A Conference foe Southern Lee in five innings Tuesday.
“We had a really good practice yesterday,” said Triton coach Mark Whitman. “We really worked on hitting yesterday. For the most part, they did what they were supposed to today. They were patient and waited on it. We’ve got to be a little more disciplined sometimes with the bat, but we hit the ball well for the most part tonight.”
Senior Leanna Whaley, who left the Hawks’ season opener on Feb. 28 with an arm injury, had her first complete outing in the circle of the season to take the win for the Hawks (11-2, 4-1 TCSC). She gave up no runs on one hit and three walks, with six strikeouts.
“It was good to have Leanna back in a game situation tonight,” Whitman said. “I think it was a good game for her to pitch in. “I thought she did a good job for the most part. She wasn’t getting the corners, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Overall, five innings of good work for her today.”
All nine Triton batters reached base at least once, with eight delivering at least one hit.
Freshman Kaila Cooney had three hits, including two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored to lead Triton offensively.
“Cooney did her job,” Whitman said. “She’s there (lead off spot) for a reason. She presses a lot when she’s not truly hitting it, but I think when she gets that first hit of the game, she pretty much rolls throughout the game. She’s big. When she gets on, I think we roll.”
Haley Hicks had two hits, one RBI and one run scored. Kathryn Elliott had a grand slam, four RBIs and two runs scored. Gracyn Slaughter had a double, two RBIs and a run scored. Hayden Smith and Samantha Herring each had one hit, one RBI and one run scored. Whaley had a double and one RBI. Alexis Howard had one hit and one run scored. Ella Layn scored twice. Brittany Ireland scored once.
Senior Fahren Cotten’s double was the lone hit for the Cavaliers (0-10, 0-5).
Cooney led off the bottom of the first inning with a double, took third on a Slaughter sacrifice and scored on a base hit from Hicks.
Triton sent 11 batters to the plate in the second inning, scoring seven runs on six hits and two walks to take an 8-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Howard singled, and Smith and Whaley each drew walks to load the bases with one out. Elliott then hit a towering shot over the left field fence for a grand slam, also scoring Howard, Smith and Layn, running for Whaley. It was the first home run of Elliott’s career.
“Couldn’t be more proud of Kathryn,” Whitman said. “Senior year. First home run she’s ever hit. And it’s a grand slam on top of that. She listened. I said, ‘Let it get in the zone,’ and that’s what she did.”
Triton retired the side in order in the fifth inning to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Triton has a home non-conference game against Cleveland (6-2) on Thursday before returning to conference play at Southern Lee on Friday.
Southern Lee took an 11-1 varsity baseball win over the host Hawks and the Cavaliers topped Triton 4-1 in girls soccer.
In baseball, the Hawks (1-13, 0-5 Tri-County Six 3-A) avoided a shutout with a run in the third after Bert Strickland led off with a hit. He went to second on a passed ball before eventually coming home on a bases-loaded walk to Christian Tyndall. Dalen Thompson had reached on an error and Grayson Bradham had drawn a walk to load the bases.
Seven of the runs for Southern Lee (11-4, 5-0) were earned as Triton committed four errors.
The Cavaliers scored three runs in the first inning, one in the second, one in the third, three in the fourth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Hayden Cross was 3-for-5 and scored two runs for Southern Lee. Adam Dossenbach had two hits and three RBIs. Jonny Husk and Luke Craig each drove in a pair of runs for the Cavaliers.
Matthew Dunn started on the mound for the Hawks and Greg Godwin came on in the fourth.
“We had two bad innings defensively,” said Hawks coach Joey Miriello. “We put runners on base and booted the ball. … We were rusty in all elements. I don’t think we were mentally in it tonight. I would have thought different. We had a nice little break.
“If you love the game of baseball and you wanted to compete, you would be ready to play. … You would want to be out here, but we were not into it tonight. That’s more disappointing to me than the physical errors. We just had a nice little talk and, hopefully, that’s rectified.”
Triton hosts Jack Britt in nonconference baseball tonight (Wednesday, April 11) before traveling to Southern Lee on Friday.
The Hawks girls soccer team slipped to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in league play.
Freshman Billie Kate Pope scored two minutes into the game in her first start up front to give Triton a 1-0 lead on Tuesday night.
“We played them really hard and held them off for quite a while, but they eventually got to us,” said Hawks girls soccer coach Brian Foster.