ANSONIA – National Trail jumped on Ansonia early in Thursday’s Cross County Conference softball game, scoring six runs in the first inning, which propelled the Blazers to a 13-3 run-rule victory in six innings.
Trail out-hit Ansonia 13 to six in Thursday’s game and didn’t commit any errors while Ansonia made two.
“We just made a lot of mistakes,” Ansonia softball coach Floyd Jenkins said. “You can’t do that against a good ball club. And give Trail credit, they hit the ball extremely well.”
National Trail came out hot with Ariel Lee, Davlyn Werner and Savanna Abner leading off the game with three consecutive singles into center field. Bobbi Jean Grimes then put the Blazers up 2-0 with a two-run double into left.
After Makena Laird walked to load the bases again, pitches into the dirt allowed Abner and Grimes to score and make it 4-0. Gracie Jones hit a sacrifice grounder to make it 5-0 then later in the inning Lauren Sargeant scored on a dropped fly ball in the outfield to make it 6-0.
“We didn’t come out very good,” Jenkins said. “Even though they’re a good hitting ball club, we’re so much better than what we’re playing.”
National Trail increased its lead to 8-0 in the second inning with a two-run home run by Abner.
Ansonia, which stranded a pair of runners in the first inning, finally got a run in the third. Trinity Henderson got the Tigers going with a one-out double and scored on a single by Sarah Rhoades to reduce the deficit to 8-1.
National Trail quickly got the run back as in the fourth inning Abner reached base on another dropped ball in the outfield then scored on a double by Laird to make it a 9-1 ballgame.
“We can’t play sloppy like we did,” Jenkins said. “Hopefully we got that out of our system, and we’re better tomorrow.”
National Trail continued to pile up the runs with four more in the sixth inning. Abner began the rally with a leadoff double, Grimes singled to put two runners on, and a pitch in the dirt allowed Abner to score.
After a walk, a single by Sargeant drove in a run and made it 11-1. Another pitch in the dirt brought in Trail’s 12th run then Kayleigh Minner had a sacrifice grounder to make it 13-1.
Ansonia did manage to score two more runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Lexi Shinn led off with a single and scored on a RBI double by Rhoades. Moments later Kayla Saintignon had a sacrifice grounder that brought in Rhoades to make it 13-3, but National Trail closed out the game and won 13-3 in six innings.
Rhoades led Ansonia at the plate as she was 3-for-3 with a double, a run and two RBIs. Shinn was 2-for-3 and scored a run. Henderson as 1-for-3 with a double and scored a run. Saintignon had a RBI.
Ansonia hit the ball well at times, Jenkins said, but overall the Tigers need to make better contact.
“We’ve just got to hit the ball,” the Ansonia coach said. “She was an average pitcher, but we just seemed like we’re geared up for faster pitchers for some reason. I don’t know. And we just seemed like we were just way ahead of way above it and not seeing the ball right now.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.