By J.W. Campbell, Sportswriter
Improving to 2-1 in the Mississippi Valley and 11-5 overall, the Triad softball team downed Waterloo 4-1 on Monday, April 15 at Traid.
Despite having just four hits, the Lady Knights were able to push across four runs in the game, all of them coming in the fourth inning.
The four-run outburst offset a run in the top of the fourth by the Bulldogs.
Waterloo’s lone score came when Taylor Downen walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a fielder’s choice and came home on a two-out base hit by Izzy Wahn.
Triad responded with four tallies in their half of the fourth. The Triad rally started with back-to-back errors by Waterloo that gave the Knights two runners on with no outs. The first run of the frame came home on a sacrifice fly to center by Liz Young. A second run scored on Waterloo’s third error of the frame, while Caroline Lehan capped off the scoring with a single to right that scored two more runners.
“I was just thinking about getting something in the air and over the infield to score the runs,” Caroline Lehan said. “Batting ninth, the other team probably thinks you’re an easy out, so I was happy to get the hit and help out my team.”
“Caroline gave us a big hit out of the nine hole, which to me is the second lead-off hitter,” Kleeman said. “Most of the time after the first inning, your nine and one hitters will come up togheter in the same inning. Today, Caroline’s hit was huge. She’s come up big a couple of times for us this year. That’s exciting to see, especially from.Caroline who plays a nasty third base. Nothing gets past her. Defensively, she’s a rock star. It’s nice to see her involved in the offense as well.”
Young, the Triad hurler ,made those runs hold up as she blanked the Bulldogs the remainder of the way. She finished the day with three strike outs and three walks as went the distance for the Lady Knights. Waterloo had just three hits against her. The one run she gave up was earned.
“Liz did a nice job of keeping them on their toes with her off-speed pitches,” Triad Coach Kris Kleeman said. “They weren’t able to hit the ball very hard, which was good; and we did a nice solid job on the infield. Then offensively, we took advantage of their errors, which is something we have not been doing lately.
“We’re getting a little better each day and we look to build on this win.”
On the other side of the ledger, Waterloo pitcher Madison Limestall allowed four runs, none of them earned, on four hits and two walks. She struck out seven hitters.
Triad’s four hits were evenly divided between Kailey Daniel, Isabelle Lehan, Dallas Zirkelbach and Caroline Lehan.
On Monday, April 8, the Lady Knights dropped a 9-6 decision to the Civic Memorial Eagles in Bethalto. In that contest, the Eagles jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and hung on for the three-run victory.
Triad was never able to tie or take the lead in the game despite scoring four runs in the top of the third and two more in the top of the fifth.
“It was not pretty,” Kleeman said of the CM game. “In fact, I would classify it as really ugly. We found ourselves down 4-0 in the first inning. We battled back a little bit, but were unable to get it done. We’ll see them again this year, so hopefully we’ll do better the next time. We’ll have to play better than we did the first time.”
The Lady Knight outhit the Eagles 13-8, but their defense committed three errors that accounted for three unearned CM runs.
Payton Bode had three hits in the game for Triad, including a double. She also scored a run. Three other Lady Knights, Daniel, Young and Zirkelbach, had two-hit games.
Isabelle Lehan drove in three runs for Triad with a home run. Collecting an RBI each were Daniel, Ella Moore and Young.
Young was the losing pitcher for the Knights, giving up six earned runs in six innings of work. She walked six batters and struck out three.
Ally Hardy paced the Eagle offense with three hits, including a home run, and four RBIs.
Kaitlynn Wrenn was the winning pitcher for CM. She walked one and struck out four Triad batters.
The Lady Knights got back on a winning track on Wednesday, April 10 when they defeated the Jerseyville Panthers 4-3 in Jerseyville.
Triad trailed 3-0 after three innings of play, but the Lady Knights pushed across two runs in the top of the fourth and two more in the top of the sixth to earn the victory.
Triad had just six hits in the game, one each by Jenna Bohnenstiehl, Daniel, Moore, Sydney Wildhaber, Young and Zirkelbach. Moore had two RBIs in the game, while Bode and Young supplied one apiece.
Young went the distance in the pitching circle for Triad. She gave up one earned run on seven hits and a walk. Young fanned seven Panthers.
Chelsea Maag had two hits and an RBI for Jerseyville.
Claire Anderson was the losing pitcher for Jerseyville. She had four strike outs in the game and did not issue a walk.