The Trenton Lady Bulldogs, in a change from two consecutive losses to the Penney Lady Hornets at Trenton High School, came into Saturday’s Class 2, District 16 championship game as the road team. For some, having the #2 seed and thus, not having home-field advantage would be seen as a negative, but for a Trenton team looking to advance past the Hamilton stumbling block, being the visitor meant batting first, and an opportunity to grab an early advantage.
Trenton did exactly that in the top of the first inning off of Penney sophomore left-hander Julia Kanoy, scoring three runs to take the lead, an advantage the Lady Bulldogs never gave back in a 5-3 victory over the Lady Hornets, improving Trenton to 24-2 on the season, while ending Hamilton’s campaign at 17-3.
In the first, Ainsley Tolson was hit on the hand by a Kanoy rise-ball, bringing Mykah Hurley to the plate. Tolson stole second and moved to third base on a wild pitch, with a Hurley single to left scoring the first run of the game. Maci Moore followed with a base hit, and, following a Salem Croy strikeout with runners on first and third, an outfield error on a sinking liner to right field off of Taylor Richman’s bat scored Hurley, and sent Moore to third. A grounder to Hornet first baseman Gillian Gibler by Sidney Lynch scored Moore with the inning’s third run.
Showing their own championship pedigree, Penney rallied with two runs off of Trenton right-hander Ainsley Tolson in the bottom of the second inning. A single by Ali Trosper scored Atison Allsup, who had reached on a one-out bunt single. A line-drive single to right field off the bat of Gibler was misplayed for a two-base error, scoring Trosper. With the tying run at third base, Tolson got a grounder to third off the bat of Morgan Hartley to escape further damage.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the Trenton third inning, ninth-place hitter Chandler Lynch came to the plate looking to add to the Lady Bulldogs advantage. A seeing-eye grounder found the right-field line, just inside the first base bag, to score Sidney Lynch and Lexi Whitaker, pushing the THS lead to 5-2. Hamilton, in the bottom of the third inning, got a lead-off solo homer by third baseman Graycen Prothero, in what would be the final run of the game.
Tolson settled in from the home run on, with the Hornets managing only a single by Trosper later in the third inning and a grounder to Tolson, misplayed at first base by Chandler Lynch for a two-base error in the fifth inning. The third inning ended after the Penney courtesy-runner, on base for Trosper, stole second, but, as the ball trickled into center field, was caught in a run-down between second and third on a perfect throw by Lexi Whitaker, as Hurley tagged out the runner. The fifth-inning rally ended on a strikeout of Allsup. Tolson retired the final seven batters she faced, and 12 of the final 13, in locking down the victory.
The Lady Bulldogs, up 5-3 in the top of the sixth inning, had a golden opportunity to add insurance runs, with second and third and no outs, but Kanoy did masterful work in escaping the jam, striking out Hurley, Moore, and Croy in succession to keep the Trenton lead at two runs.
Sports Director Tom Johnson spoke with victorious Head Coach John Cowling following Saturday’s victory:
Trenton (24-2) will host 20-2 Lathrop on Wednesday night at 6 o’clock in the Class 2 state sectional round. Lathrop, on a one-hit shutout and 11 strikeouts from Brooke Huitt, and a game-winning solo homer in the top of the seventh inning by Chey Cochran, beat rival Plattsburg in the District 15 title game 1-0. Holden, the District 13 champion, will play at District 14 champion Richmond on Wednesday night. The Lathrop-Trenton winner will play the Holden-Richmond winner in Saturday’s state quarterfinal round.
Elsewhere from Saturday, Marceline defeated Putnam County 7-1 in the District 7 title game in Unionville. The Lady Tigers will play at Tolton Catholic in the sectional round on Wednesday, after the Trail Blazers beat North Callaway 1-0 in the District 8 championship game.
In Class 1 action from Saturday, Meadville edged Bevier 10-9 to capture District 11. Meadville faces Brunswick on Wednesday night at 6 o’clock in Brunswick in the state sectionals. Brunswick beat Norborne 12-6 in the District 12 finals.
Class 1 District 16 had semifinals played on Saturday, with Stanberry edging Platte Valley 4-3, while North Nodaway edged Albany 5-4. Stanberry and North Nodaway play for the district title on Monday night at 5 o’clock at Conception Junction.
The winners of Districts 15 and 16 will play on Wednesday night in sectional action. The District 15 championship game will be Monday night at 5:30 from Eagleville, where the #1 seed North Harrison Lady Shamrocks play the #2 seed Princeton Lady Tigers. You can hear that contest on KTTN FM 92.3, with pregame at 5:25.
Class 1 District 14 had semifinal and final games on Saturday. Maysville beat DeKalb 12-2 in the championship contest. Earlier, Maysville beat Stewartsville 12-0 in the semifinals. DeKalb edged North Andrew in the other semifinal contest 5-4.
Maysville advances to the state sectionals, hosting the winner of the Gallatin vs. Braymer game on Wednesday. Due to wet field conditions in Pattonsburg, the Gallatin-Braymer game will be played on Monday night at GALLATIN HIGH SCHOOL, with first pitch slated for 5 o’clock.