By John Ayers
The Trenton Lady Tigers softball team brought home the gold on Thursday after defeating Jay High School 5-4, Wednesday afternoon in the 2021 FHSAA 1A Softball Championship on Legends Way Field in Clermont. This was the Lady Tigers second straight 1A girls softball title under Coach Todd Bryant and the outstanding coaching staff: Clint Anderson, Terry Parrish, Kevin Benson, Hunter Parrish, and Jeff Blankenship. The Tigers are 57-1 since finishing the 2019 season 27-0.
Coach Bryant explained, “We had great pitching as Darian Ingram struck out 13 batters and Keeli Zingaro had key hits in this matchup, but we won this game with a 6th grader playing second base.” Addison Allaire caught a fly ball on the right side of midfield for the third out in the top of the 7th inning to clinch the title for the Lady Tigers.
Addison Allaire hit .500 during the two game tournament as she setup-scoring opportunities with sacrifice bunts. This up and coming, young Tiger made some key defensive plays from her second base position.
Keeli Zingaro hit a 3-run homer to lift the Lady Tigers to a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning. The Royals scored their first runs of the game in the top of the 6th inning to tie the game at 4-4. The Tigers broke the tie, scoring a run in the bottom of the 6th to go up 5-4. The Tigers defense held off the Royals (24-6) in the 7th to clinch the 1A crown.
On Tuesday afternoon the Lady Tigers met a young Branford Bucs softball team that defeated Taylor County 13-3 to advance to the 2 p.m. semi-finals against the Lady Tigers.
The Bucs took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Lady Tigers had a 2 RBI single by Lillian Wilkerson and Shaylyn Parrish had a 1 RBI single that put the Lady Tigers ahead 3-2 in the top of the 5th inning. The Tigers’ Shaylyn Parrish hit 2 of 3 with an RBI in leading the Tigers at the plate. The Lady Tigers had 7 hits in this game. The Tigers’: Adrian Ingram, Shaylyn Parrish, and Keeli Zingaro each had stolen bases in this semi final victory.
Trenton’s Darian Ingram led the Tigers from the circle as the senior ace struck out 17 and walked 2 batters. The Florida Atlantic University signee gave up 3 hits in this game. The Lady Bucs’, Laila Arnold (8th), allowed 6 hits, 3 runs, 4 Ks, and walked 3 batters.
The Tigers achieved their goal to return to the Final Four in Class 1A and win the 2021 Championship. The Tigers were undefeated and ranked No.1 (10-0) in 2020 when the softball season and post-season play was cancelled due to COVID-19. Congratulations Tigers, you are the Champions!
Lady Tigers are State 1A Softball Champs
By John Ayers