Taking a high step toward the plate, sophomore Lena Doll of Triton pitches against Warsaw Saturday morning.
Taking a high step toward the plate, sophomore Lena Doll of Triton pitches against Warsaw Saturday morning.
Three of the four Warsaw Lady Tiger Softball Tournament competitors were comprised of area teams: the Manchester Squires, the Triton Trojans, and the host Warsaw Tigers. The guests who traveled farthest, however, the Homestead Spartans, took the championship trophy home with them Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans used solid pitching to capture the tourney title with a 21-1 win over Class 1A Triton, who did some giant-slaying, defeating Class 4A Warsaw 12-7, to advance to the title fray.

Triton and Homestead were tied 1-1 headed into the second inning when Spartan pitcher Ava Mejia retired 12 straight batters between the first inning and the fifth, striking out 7 of them. Homestead, with Triton’s bats continually silenced thereafter, scored 5, 3, 3, and 9 runs among the following four respective innings. The game ended after five complete innings.

The Class 2A Manchester Squires took the consolation game over Warsaw 9-3. The Squires lost 12-6 to Homestead in their morning clash to land in the consolation game.

The Squires didn’t need any extra base hits to take the contest, rapping 10 singles and drawing 6 walks to move baserunners around the diamond, the latter issue continuing to be a thorn in the Tigers’ side as they develop their pitching staff.

Emma Evans and Madi Parson contributed two hits and two RBI apiece, and Molly Schannep, a freshman who predictably throws fastballs most of the game, pitched a complete game allowing 7 Tiger base hits.

When Warsaw made solid contact on some of those fastballs, however, they were productive. Avery Sleeth belted a two-run homer to score teammate Kali Ousley in the fourth inning. Ousley added a triple in the consolation game to punctuate a 3 for 4 showing at the plate. Ousley also scored on Lauren Eastwood’s single in the sixth frame. Kendyll Landis was the fourth Tiger with a base hit in the contest.

Triton and Warsaw, separated by less than 30 minutes of windshield time, opened Saturday’s tournament action on the varsity field.

The Trojans eclipsed last year’s season total wins of four by clinching their fifth win in the 12-7 contest. Hit batters and walks gave the Trojans a bevvy of base runners in the early innings, and Triton jumped to a 6-0 lead after two stanzas, eventually stretching the lead 9-0 after the top of the fourth.

“Until you have two strikes you wait until you have a ball you can split in half,” Triton head coach Kennedy Krull noted. “You try not to chase a whole lot. We try to foul off low and high strikes to stay alive at the plate.”

The Tigers broke their scoring schneid with a two-run fourth inning and outscored the Trojans 5-1 in the sixth to shake up Triton. The Trojans led 10-7 headed into the final inning before they added two more runs in the final frame to cap the morning’s scoring.

“The wheels fell off there for a second, but they stopped the bleeding after a while,” Krull said. “We let them hand around a little too long, and they took advantage of us.”

Triton reached base with 9 hits, 4 walks, and 5 hit batters. Addy Viers belted a two-run double, and winning pitcher Lena Doll had 4 RBI. Jolie Groves (3-4, 3 runs, 1 RBI), Madi Doll (2-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI) and Shade Trent (2-4, 1 RBI) led the Trojans’ offense.

The Tigers had seven hits including a triple from Sleeth and a double from Eastwood, who was 2-3 from the plate with one RBI. Mak Holder had one RBI in a 3-4 effort from the plate in the morning contest. Landis (single, RBI), Kirra Morgan (single), and Addy Williams (2 RBI) rounded out the Tiger offensive effort.

Each area team has a full slate of games through almost the entire week as the 2022 regular season reaches its completion, and sectional play begins Monday, May 23.