Triton dispatched visiting Southern Lee 10-0 in five innings in the first round of the Tri-County Six 3-A Conference softball tournament Monday.
Despite the win, Triton coach Mark Whitman felt his team’s effort was lacking.
“We took care of business, but we didn’t play good tonight,” Whitman said. “We played alright. We played good enough to win, but we were nonchalant. We had batters trying to swing out of their shoes and not having good, disciplined at-bats. We got some big hits here and there. A win’s a win and I’m happy with the win and that we get to play Union Pines tomorrow, but I’m not pleased with the effort tonight. They know it. They were not focused on the game tonight. I wasn’t satisfied tonight. We’ve got a big game tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll come ready to play, because if not, we’ll get beat.”
The win advances Triton to today’s second round at Harnett Central, where the Hawks (16-5) will meet Union Pines with a trip to the title game and a tiebreaker for the conference’s second automatic bid to the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs on the line. The Hawks and Vikings split regular season meetings, with the home team winning each time.
Sophomore Caroline Marshall pitched the complete game shutout for Triton, yielding no runs on two hits, two walks and one hit batter, with seven strikeouts.
All three Triton pitchers (Marshall, senior Leanna Whaley and freshman Gracyn Slaughter) have a win over the Cavaliers (0-18) this season.
Junior Alexis Howard broke out of a recent hitting slump with three hits, including a home run, three RBIs and one run scored and Brittany Ireland had three hits, including two doubles, and two runs scored to lead Triton offensively.
“I was glad to see Rabbit (Howard) get out of her slump and hit a home run tonight,” Whitman said. “And Brittany hit the ball well tonight.”
Leanna Whaley had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Hayden Smith had two hits, one RBI and two runs scored. Gracyn Slaughter had two hits, including a double. Allure Smith had one hit, one RBI and two runs scored. Haley Hicks had one hit and one run scored.
Triton plated four runs in the second inning, five in the third, including a three-run blast over center from Howard, and one in the fifth.