By Anthony Jones
After a 690 day hiatus since their last game, Triad’s softball team finally kicked off their season this past week. The team wasted no time in starting off their year as they played five games in the first five days of the season.
The team played their home opener on April 14 against the Collinsville Kahoks. The Kahoks entered the game with a 1-0 record after a 7-1 victory over Columbia.
Layla Moore started the day on the mound for Triad and got off to a great start. She struck out three batters in the top of the first inning and only allowed one walk. The Knights offense did a great job of making contact in the first inning, but an Ella Moore single was the only player to safely reach base.
The second inning finally showed some offense as two of the first three batters for the Kahoks reached base, both in the form of walks. A sacrifice bunt and yet another bunt set up a big spot, loading the bases with two outs. Collinsville jumped on this opportunity and took a 3-0 lead off a double before the half inning finished.
The momentum kept swinging in the Kahoks favor in the second inning as they made short work of Triad’s offense. Only three Triad batters came to bat in their turn to play offense.
The third inning saw the home team get back on the right path. Triad retired the first two Kahok batters before allowing a single. The single could do no damage as the Knights retired the base runner after tagging her out in a pickle.
Logan Looby kickstarted the offense in the bottom of the third with a leadoff double. Thanks to a sacrifice bunt, she moved into scoring position. Jenna Bohnenstiehl took full advantage of this at the plate as she blasted a home run to draw the deficit down to 3-2.
Next time the Kahoks went back to bat, they responded with a home run of their own by Brianna Wellen to start the inning off. Their offense kept rolling with a single and a double, but could not score again in the half inning.
Triad responded with a walk and a pair of singles when they returned to the plate, narrowing their foe’s lead to 4-3. A groundout by Layla Moore was the first batter out of the inning, but it also tied the game at 4-4. Despite some well hit balls, the Knights could not score again.
Despite only mustering one hit, the Kahoks offense responded strongly in the fifth inning. With several steals and a hit by pitch plus a walk, Collinsville reclaimed a lead by going up 7-4.
A trio of base runners of their own in the bottom of the fifth looked promising for Triad. But Bohnensteihl was the only player to score, moving the scores to 7-5.
After two runners reached base in the sixth inning, Riley Sampson blasted a three run homer to move the Kahoks score to double digits. Collinsville continued to have good at bats, but could not score again in their inning.
The Kahoks continued to look strong in the sixth inning, where they only allowed one base runner. Kandra Butcher recorded three strikeouts on the mound in this stretch.
Ella Moore was called to the mound to finish the game for Triad. Three Kahok batters recorded hits to start the final inning, growing their lead to 11-5. Another batter reached on error and a Brylee Anderton home run continued the offensive onslaught and grew the lead to 14-5.
In their final chance to retake the lead, Bohnensteihl kicked the bottom of the seventh off with a single. Shortly behind her, Ella Moore blasted a two run shot. Despite their strong start to the inning, the team’s rally fell short and the Kahoks won 14-7.
In other action over the week, Triad won 13-10 over Mount Vernon. The squad also lost their first game of the season in a 10-0 effort against Freeburg. Against O’Fallon, the team split a double header by scores of 7-4 and 10-3.