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By Anthony Jones
Triad softball season came to a close with a May 23 matchup with the Civic Memorial Eagles.
The Lady Knights entered higher ranked as the fourth seed, but the fifth-seeded Eagles had home field advantage as the regional hosts.
Civic Memorial jumped out to a 1-0 in the top of the first after stringing two hits together. Triad tallied two hits of their own in the first from Syd Horn and Sam Jarman, but failed to score.
The Lady Knights first scoring rally began in the second inning, kickstarted by a Phoebe Feldman double. A wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt from Logan Looby scored Feldman for the game tying run.
Civic Memorial regained their lead in the top of the third, but not without controversy.
The first batter off the frame laid down a bunt and appeared to be beaten by the throw, but was ruled safe. Two subsequent hits drove the leadoff runner to push Civic Memorial ahead 2-1.
Triad coach Kris Kleeman talked about the debated call that put her team behind on the scoreboard, “That is a definite momentum shift. That changes your whole approach at the plate and changes your whole gameplay. But having said that, we didn’t get key hits at key moments.”
It took until the top of the sixth frame for another runner to find home plate.
Civic Memorial began the next scoring rally with three singles to pull ahead 3-1. A subsequent two-run homerun caused the Lady Knights to turn to Maddie Hart in relief of Delaney Hess to end the inning down 5-1.
Hess earned one of those runs back in the bottom half of the frame, delivering an RBI single.
Still down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Triad’s last chance to comeback started with an Alyssa DeWitte double that hit the top of the fence. Jarman later reached via an error and a misplay in the field allowed DeWitte to score.
Chloe Seger, who represented the game-tying run, walked on four pitches in the next at bat. Civic Memorial escaped the comeback bid with a fielder’s choice to advance in a 5-3 final.
The Eagles advanced to the regional final, where they lost 12-9 to top-seeded Highland.
Triad finished their season with a 15-12 overall record and having won 11 of their last 15 contests. The Lady Knights also finished 5-5 in Mississippi Valley Conference play, tying them for a second place finish.
Their season served as their farewell campaign to their three seniors: Sam Hartoin, Sam Jarman and London Looby.
“They will be hard to replace, most definitely. Today was a fantastic outing for them,” Coach Kleeman said of the senior trio.