By J.W. Campbell, Sportswriter
Bouncing back from a walk- off defeat earlier in the day, the Triad girls softball team downed the Park Hills Central Rebels out of Missouri 10-0 in five innings on Saturday, March 23 at Belleville West.
Liz Young went the distance in the short-game victory, shutting out the Rebels on two hits and a walk. She struck out six in the contest.
Triad got all the runs it would need in the second inning when the Lady Knights plated three runners.
The frame began with a lead-off single by Young. Dallas Zirkelbach was hit by pitch ahead of a walk to Ella Moore to load the bases. A base hit by Sydney Wildhaber scored one run. Caroline Lehan followed with a sacrifice fly that scored the second run of the inning. The third tally of the stanza scored on a base hit by Kailey Daniel.
Triad expanded its lead in the third when a Zirkelbach singled home a run and Moore scored another with a fielder’s choice to make it a 5-0 game.
The Lady Knights added four more runs in the fourth when they batted around. Payton Bode doubled home a pair of runs in the inning, while Young drove in another with a double to right field. Zirkelbach completed the frame’s scoring with an RBI single.
Triad ended the game on the 10-run mercy rule with a tally in the bottom of the fifth. Three consecutive singles by Jenna Bohnenstiehl, Daniel and Isabelle Lehan produced the run.
Triad pounded out 15 hits in the game.
“Once we started changing our approach at the plate we started having some success,” Triad Assistant Coach Darrell Butler said. “We were really good at having a plan when we walked up to the plate, per what the girls have been coached and told to do. I think that was apparent by how many balls we hit into the gaps.”
Daniel paced the Lady Knights with four hits in four at bats. She also drove in a run and scored a run. Bode finished the day with two doubles and two RBIs for the Knights, while Young went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Zirkelbach was 2-for-2 with a run scored and two runs batted in. Bohnenstiehl and Moore each had two hits and two runs scored in the game.
Park Hills’ two safeties included an infield hit by Chloe Coppedge in the second and a solid single to right by Millie McDowell in the fifth.
In the opener for the Lady Knights, the Belleville West Maroons scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to take a 6-5 victory over Triad.
The game-winning run scored when Belleville collected three hits in the bottom of the seventh to chase home a run.
Triad took its only lead of the game in the top of the first when a walk to Daniel and double by Bode created a run.
Belleville responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame.
Triad knotted the game at 3-3 in the top of the second on a two run single to right by Daniel that scored Jayda Fulkerson and Caroline Lehan. Fulkerson was pinch running for Shiane Taylor who singled to start the rally, while Lehan reached after being hit by a pitch.
The Maroons jumped ahead 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the second and stretched the lead to 5-3 with a run in the bottom of the third.
In the top of the fourth, Triad made it a one-run game when Caroline Lehan was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. She moved to second on a base hit by Daniel and scored on a single to center by Bode.
Triad tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the seventh when Zirkelbach walked, moved to second on a base hit by Moore and scored on a double to left by Wildhaber.
Unfortunately for the Lady Knights, the Maroons were able to produce a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to win the game.
The Knights had 10 hits in the game including two each by Bode, Daniel, Moore and Wildhaber. Bode and Daniel each had two runs batted in to go with their two hits.
Coming up with a hit apiece were Taylor and Zirkelbach.
West had 13 hits in the game and were helped by three Triad errors.
“I thought we played pretty well once we regrouped a little bit,” Butler said. “We had a few errors, but we haven’t had that many reps on dirt so far this year because of the weather. Taking grounders on dirt is different than taking grounders off a gym floor.”