By Todd Bryant
This past week, the #1 team in 1A, the Trenton Lady Tigers traveled to take on two big time programs and hosted a 7A top ranked team in Florida.
On Tuesday, April 16th, the Tigers rolled into Santa Fe to take on the Raiders. The Raiders were ranked #6 in 5A and #7 overall in North Florida in the Prep Zone Power Poll. The Tigers got to scoring early when Hallie Bryant reached on an error, stole second, and scored when Tania Bowers laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error. The Tigers started Darian Ingram on the mound and she set the first three hitters down in order. In the second inning the Tigers didn’t score but Santa Fe tied the game up with a run of their own after an error and a mishandled throw. With the score 1-1, Bryant led off the 3rd inning with a single and stole second. Bowers hit a fielders’ choice to the shortstop that was mishandled, allowing Bryant to score. With the Tigers up 2-1 Ingram continued to set the Raider hitters down. In the sixth inning, winning 2-1, the Tigers got their bats going again. Keeli Zingaro led off with a double off the left center wall and was moved to 3rd with a sacrifice bunt by Adrian Ingram. Lillian Wilkerson laid down a great double and ended up at second base when no one covered. With runners on second and third, with one out, and a 3-2 count, Grace Guthrie laced a fly ball to left field to score Zingaro and put the Tigers up 3-1. The Raiders weren’t out of gas yet and were able to put another run on the board in the sixth inning to make the score 3-2. However, the Tigers struck back in the seventh inning. Shalyn Parrish led off with a walk, followed by a Bryant bunt single, followed by a Bowers bunt single. With bases loaded Jenny Lynn Johnson got an infield single that scored Parrish and Zingaro had a sacrifice fly to left center that scored Bryant increasing the lead to 5-2. Ingram kept Santa Fe from scoring in the 7th and the Tigers won 5-2.
For the night, Darian Ingram went all 7 innings, had one earned run with 3 hits, 5 walks and 7 strikeouts. Hallie Bryant was 3-4 with 3 runs, and 2 stolen bases. Lillian Wilkerson was 2-4 and Keelie Zingaro had a double and a sacrifice fly.
The next test for the Tigers would be the nationally ranked 8A Oak Leaf. Trenton traveled to Clay County to take on the #2 ranked team in all of Florida and #10 in the nation.
Trenton would again start Darian Ingram on the mound. The Knights would go ahead 3-0 in the 3rd inning after a walk, strikeout, single, hit by pitch, sacrifice fly, and 2 run error by the Tiger defense. The Tigers were down but not out.
In the top of the 4th inning the Tigers got started when Adrian Ingram led off with a single down the left field line that would likely had been a double if the umpire had not gotten hit with the ball. Lillian Wilkerson followed with a single, and Grace Guthrie laid down a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled by the first baseman scoring Ingram. Mallory Coates then sacrifice bunted to load the bases. Shalyn Parrish then walks, scoring Wilkerson, and then Bryant singles in Guthrie. Johnson followed with an infield grounder that was mishandled by the Knight pitcher allowing Parrish to score and put the Tigers up 4-3. Darian Ingram continued to blank the Knights and the Tiger bats got warmed up again in the 6th inning. Bryant led off with a bunt single and stole second. Bowers walked but the next two batters could not advance the runners. With two outs, Adrian Ingram walked and then Lillian Wilkerson had a clutch single up the middle scoring Bowers and Zingaro, making the score 6-3. In the top of the 7th inning, with one out, Bryant doubled down the right field line. Bowers followed with a bunt single putting runners at first and third bases with one out. Bowers stole second and Johnson walked loading the bases. After another out, Adrian Ingram pushed a bunt that was mishandled allowing two more runs to cross before the inning ended. Darian Ingram closed out the 7th inning helping the Tigers win 8-3. For the game: Lillian Wilkerson was 4-4 with 2 RBIs and a run, Hallie Bryant was 3-5 with a double, a stolen base, and a run. Adrian Ingram was 2-4 with a run. Darian Ingram scattered 7 hits, had 4 walks and 9 strikeouts against one of the best high school teams in America. The Tigers improved to 19-0.
The Tigers remain at #1 in 1A and are ranked in the top 10 in all classes in Florida.
The Tigers last regular season game was Monday evening against the Gainesville Hurricanes at home. It was Senior Night as: Tania Bowers, Crystal Cherry, Zakyah Frazier and Grace Guthrie were all recognized before the game before a large crowd.
Gainesville High was ranked #6 in class 7A and looking to avenge its last 3 losses to Trenton. Gainesville started their ace, Alissa Humphries on the mound and she threw 7 1/3 great innings giving up only 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 9. However, her Tiger counterpart, Darian Ingram, threw 8 complete innings for the Tigers, giving up only 1 hit with 2 walks and 14 strikeouts. The score remained 0-0 into the 8th inning. Emily Barras led off and reached on an error. Grace Guthrie laid down a sacrifice bunt that was mishandled and she reached first base safely. With runners on first and second the Tigers again attempted to sacrifice bunt but were unable to do so. With one out, Hallie Bryant singled to left center to load the bases and Tania Bowers followed with a squeeze bunt that scored Barras for the Tigers’ win. The Tigers improved to 20-0 on the season and remain at #1 in 1A and are ranked in the top 10 in all classes in Florida.
Trenton will host the District 7 Softball Tournament next week. On Monday, Branford (#5 seed) plays Dixie (#4) seed at 5 pm and Bronson (#6 seed) plays Chiefland (#3 seed) at 7 pm. On Tuesday, Bell (#2 seed) plays the winner of Bronson/Chiefland at 5 pm and Trenton (#1 seed) plays the winner of Branford/Dixie at 7 pm. The two winners will meet on Thursday at 7 pm for the District Championship. The top two teams from this District final could be playing for a state championship in May. Come out and see these girls play to earn their way to post season and the state Final Four.
Tigers go undefeated as they defeat top ranked Power Programs
By Todd Bryant