South Johnston’s varsity softball team picked up its first win over the season by beating visiting rival Triton 6-4, making up a game that was rained out on Tuesday.
“Offensively we kind of did enough,” said South Johnston coach Ashley Ennis. “We had some good hits. We had some great baserunning. I thought baserunning was probably the biggest key. We took advantage of some things they gave us on the bases and made some smart decisions on the bases.”
“It’s tough to play Triton. They always do a great job. It’s always a great game. They hit the ball. They loaded bases and had runners on first and second all kinds of times and Kennedy (Byrd) worked herself out of them really well. That was probably the difference in the game, because we were able to get out of some messes on defense when we got too many people on base. On the flip side of that, offensively, we took advantage of a few things and scored a couple of runs in those middle innings by baserunning and that was kind of the difference in the game.”
Triton coach Mark Whitman said miscues were costly for the Hawks.
“We hit the ball good enough to win,” Whitman said. “I think we pitched well enough to win. You make five errors, you can’t win ball games. And not scoring but four runs. We hit the ball good at times. Defensively we played pretty good other than some miscues behind the plate. But it’s first game. First game jitters, maybe. That’s what I’m kind of marking it up as and hopefully they’ll come back ready to play tomorrow night with a little different perspective on things.”
Junior Kennedy Byrd pitched the complete game win for the Trojans (1-1), yielding four earned runs on 10 hits and six walks, with nine strikeouts.
“Kennedy worked,” coach Ennis said. “She pitched a good seven innings for us. Defensively, we kind of made a few boo boos. Nothing atrocious. But it’s early. We’ve got a lot to work on. We’ve got some things we know we can do better.”
Freshman Aubree Bass was the pitcher of record for the Hawks (0-1). In three innings, she yielded one earned run on four hits and two walks, with two strikeouts. Senior Gracyn Slaughter pitched three innings of relief, yielding two earned runs on four hits and no walks, with seven strikeouts.
A pair of sophomores led South at the plate. Allie Stewart had two hits, two RBIs and one run scored and Meagan Worley had two hits, including a double, and two runs scored.
Hollyn Champagne had a solo home run. Byrd, Caroline Tucker and Kylie Lee had one hit apiece. Kenzie Adams and Kealey Wade scored one run apiece.
“Allie Stewart hit the ball really hard,” coach Ennis said. “Hollyn scratched back for us with that home run in the bottom of the first inning. We were not very confident coming into this game, because we did not play very well in our last game (a 10-3 loss at North Johnston), so I think we needed something like that.”
Senior Kaila Cooney had three hits, one RBI and one run scored, Slaughter had two hits and one RBI and junior Tristan Ennis had two hits and one run scored to lead Triton.
Bass had one hit and one RBI. Ashley Pope had a double and one run scored. Takyra McLean had one hit. Kimah Warren had one RBI and one run scored.
Triton grabbed the early lead in the top of the first inning when Cooney had a base hit with two out and scored all the way from first on a base hit from Bass. Slaughter singled and Reagan Bradham drew a walk to load the bases, but Byrd ended the threat with a strikeout.
Champagne tied the game in the bottom of the first with a solo home run over the scoreboard in right-center field.
South took the lead in the second inning when Stewart drew a walk, advanced on a passed ball and a wild pitch and scored on another passed ball.
In the bottom of the third, Champagne reached on a fielder’s choice. Adams, her courtesy runner, stole second, tagged up to take third on a fly out and scored on a passed ball. Worley then singled, advanced to third on an error on a Stewart single and scored on a wild pitch.
In the top of the fourth, Tristan Ennis singled, Pope drew a walk and McLean singled to load the bases with no outs. Warren drew a walk to score Tristan Ennis and Pope scored on a ground ball from Cooney. But Byrd ended the rally with back-to-back strikeouts.
South added two more runs in the fifth. Byrd singled and Worley followed with a double. Wade, Byrd’s courtesy runner, and Worley both scored on a base hit from Stewart.
Triton’s last run came in the top of the sixth. Warren drew a walk, advanced on a Cooney single and scored on a base hit from Slaughter.
South Johnston and Triton meet again at Triton on Tuesday before South Johnston is at home against Princeton and Triton is at home against Smithfield-Selma on Thursday.