Impressive comeback for Trinity over West Allegheny
CLINTON – An hourlong rain delay and a four-run deficit entering the top of the seventh inning could not deter Trinity’s softball team Saturday.
After enduring swamp-like field conditions and not recording an extra-base hit for six innings, the Hillers manufactured a four-hit, six-run seventh inning and sophomore pitcher Katelyn Campbell earned the victory as Trinity defeated West Allegheny, 11-10, in a Section 2-AAA game at Clinton Park.
The victory maintains the Hillers’ spot as the second-place team in the section behind South Fayette and puts them in position to win the section if they defeat the Lions Tuesday.
“The girls have never given up,” Trinity head coach Shawn Gray said. “They are battling and even though we gave up the lead, they fought back. This gave us a taste of playoff softball.”
The Hillers (9-1, 14-1) led 5-4 entering the bottom of the sixth inning before the Indians (8-3, 9-3) scored five runs to take the lead. West Allegheny seemed destine to grab the win but Trinity would turn the game around in the next inning.
Sophomore first baseman Delaney Elling started the top of the seventh with a walk before junior designated hitter Halie Justice hit the second pitch of the next at-bat into the gap in right-center field for an RBI triple.
Sophomore Paige Galentine, who pitched the first three innings for Trinity, followed with an RBI single. The Indians recorded one out before senior left fielder Jasmine Fuqua reached on a walk and sophomore Emily Fritz hit a routine fly ball to second base that was dropped to score Fuqua from second.
Sophomore catcher Kimberly Dunst followed with an RBI single to tie the game and junior Olivia Gray, who went 2-for-3 with four runs and an RBI, was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Brooke Beck stepped to the plate and on the first pitch, she hit an infield single to give Trinity a one-run lead. West Allegheny’s shortstop mishandled a routine ground ball two batters later to score Gray from second and the Indians finally escaped the inning on a ground ball.
“That game definitely brought our confidence up,” Beck said. “You could see the girls get down on themselves after the sixth inning, but we picked it up and it feels great to get the win.”
The Indians threatened to rally for the fourth time when they led off the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles. A fielder’s choice advanced West Allegheny junior right fielder Danna Heh to third base and freshman catcher Brooke Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Heh.
With the bases empty and two outs, Campbell got Indians junior first baseman Brooke Bagnell to pop up to second base to end the game.
“That win gives us respect heading into the playoffs,” Olivia Gray said. “It shows us and everyone that we have the ability to come back late like we did.”
A downpour delayed the start of the game for more than an hour, but the Hillers did not sweat the late start. Olivia Gray scored on an infield single in the first inning to give Trinity an early lead before West Allegheny tied the game in the second.
The Hillers added two runs in the third on hits from Justice and Galentine, but the Indians scored three in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. West Allegheny held the lead until the sixth before Gray hit an RBI triple and scored on a wild pitch.
The Indians quickly answered with the five-run sixth inning but the Hillers’ offense completed the comeback.
“The girls came through when we needed runs,” Shawn Gray said. “We ran the bases well, played solid defense and a couple girls got clutch hits when we really needed them. It’s a perfect way to prepare for the playoffs.”