By Mark Jurgena
The Triad Middle School softball team won their own SIJHSAA Class L Regional championship on their home field last Tuesday with an 8-6 win over Mascoutah.
After Mascoutah tied the game 4-4 in the top of the 5th, the Crusaders answered back with four runs in their half of the inning and held on to claim the crown.
“We always talk about how any amount of runs is never enough especially against a team like Mascoutah,” said coach Kaci Greer. “When they came in I said, ‘this is what we talk about, four runs wasn’t going to be enough, we have to get more. We have to get them now, we can’t wait around for another big inning.’ We got a couple big hits after that.”
Maddi Seal and Reese Brown delivered those big hits.
With one out Addi Jones walked and scored on Brown’s double to give the lead back to TMS for good at 5-4. With two out, Paige Schmelzer and Addy Mumper walked to load the bases. Seal followed with a big three-run triple to give the Crusaders an 8-4 lead.
“Mady had actually tripled in her first at bat and got us our first couple of runs,” said Greer. “So I knew that she was seeing the pitcher well. I was just hoping that she could make enough contact, hit it hard enough that we could score at least one. To get the bases cleared by that was awesome.”
Mascoutah responded with two more runs in the top of the 6th inning, but TMS still carried a two-run advantage into the top of the 7th. However, Greer and her charges had a clear mission for that inning.
“Three outs,” she began. “We need three outs and that’s where we left it. Whatever we need to do, play Triad softball, but we have three outs to get.”
Pitcher Delaney Hess got the assist on the first out and struck out the last two hitters to secure the win.
She went the distance in the circle for Triad. She scattered eight hits and only gave up three earned runs. She struck out 13 hitters.
In addition to Seal’s two triples, Andie Green added her own three base hit in the bottom of the 3rd inning to score Emma McBride and Brown.
In the semifinals they beat Collinsville 15-3. Seal had a pair of doubles and drove home five runs to lead Triad. Mumper had a triple and three RBI, while Hess and Green both had two RBI. Jones added two hits and Schmelzer had a double and an RBI. McBride drove home a run.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SIJHSAA had originally scheduled only a regional round of competition for softball, however on Friday the association announced they had received permission by the IDPH to conduct a state tournament for regional winners.
Triad played at Carlyle Wednesday in quarterfinal play against the homestanding Indians. Results were unavailable at press time. If the Crusaders won last night, they will play in the semifinals Saturday at Rotary Park in Centralia against the winner of McLeansboro (Hamilton County) and Carmi-White County. The 3rd place and championship games will take place October 13th in Centralia.
SIJHSAA Class L State Quarterfinals- From October 7
Game 1- McLeansboro (Hamilton County) at Carmi-White County
Game 2-Triad at Carlyle
Game 3- Marion at Carterville
Game 4- Red Bud at Murphysboro