FRONTENAC — The Girard High School softball team was named the 4A DII Regional champs after defeating Frontenac 13-4 in the championship game on Tuesday.
TROJANS WIN REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Playing as the home team in the Raiders’ ballpark, the Trojans were crowned Regional champs after defeating Frontenac 13-4 in hostile territory.
The Trojans overcame an early deficit by plating 10 runs in the middle innings en route to the win.
Girard bounced back from a one-run deficit in the opening frame with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but the Raiders regained the lead at 4-2 in the second inning.
Julia Falletti scored the game’s first run to give Frontenac a 1-0 advantage after leading off with double.
The Trojans took their first lead of the game at 2-1 on a two-run double off the bat of Calea Augustin, but the Raiders regained lead with three runs in the second inning.
Shelby Blythe, Falletti and Gwen Smalley all came around to score in the frame.
Girard responded with four runs in third inning to gain a 6-4 lead.
The frame was highlighted by an RBI single off the bat of Augustin.
The Trojans further separated themselves from the Raiders by scoring four runs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 10-4.
Two runs were driven in during the fourth frame on a pair of RBI doubles by Shelby Smith and Shaylun Grosstephan, while one came in via a sacrifice fly by Laney Shireman and a fourth run on a defensive miscue.
Girard tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth inning on the strength of an RBI double by Grosstephan and an RBI single by Sydnee Crain, before adding on one more run in the sixth inning thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Jacey Murphy.
Augustin was the offensive catalyst for the Trojans, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base.
Crain and Murphy were also seeing the ball well, each notching three hits and an RBI apiece.
Falletti led the way for the Raiders at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
TROJANS BLOW BY BAXTER
Nine runs in the opening two innings for the Trojans lifted them to an 11-2 win over Baxter in the first round of the tournament.
With runs coming in bunches on the offensive end, Girard’s starter Smith was mowing down the Lions’ batting order on the defensive end.
“We’ve been talking about getting better with every game and opening up with a bang and that’s what we did,” GHS head coach Jim Vinze said. “When you get on top of someone early, it makes it hard for them to climb back in the game. We got ahead and that gave us a lot of confidence to finish strong.”
Girard hit the ground running, posting four runs in the first inning to grab a 4-0 lead.
The inning was highlighted by a three-run homerun to left field off the bat of Grosstephan and included an RBI single by Shireman.
GHS continued to pile on the runs in the second inning, crossing the plate five times to extend the lead to 9-0.
Ten batters came to the plate for the Trojans in the second and five scored, as Sydnee Crain drove in a pair of runs on a single through the right side, Shelby Smith hit a sacrifice fly and Calea Augustin drove one more on a triple to left-center field before stealing home.
The Trojans took their largest lead of the game in the fourth, plating two runs on home run to left field by Augustin.
The Lions came through with two runs in the fifth to avoid the run rule, but couldn't rally back to continue their season.
Smith was dominate in the circle throughout, allowing two earned runs on six hits with eight strikeouts through seven innings of work.
Augustin and Grosstephan were the leaders offensively, each driving in three runs on two hits.
RAIDERS ROUT TITANS
Despite Columbus jumping out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning, the Raiders battled back to take the lead before running away with it in the middle innings in the 12-5 win.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Raiders took advantage of a pair of defensive miscues to score two runs in the first inning and took the lead at 4-3 with two more runs in the second inning on the strength of a two-run double by Kaylee Harper.
The Raiders extended their lead to 7-3 with a trio of runs in the third frame.
The inning was highlighted by an RBI single by Madison Davis.
Frontenac began running away with the contest in the sixth inning, plating four runs — with two coming on a an RBI single by Kayla Meyer — to cushion the lead to 11-5.
FHS tacked on four more insurance runs in the fifth inning to go up 11-3, with two runs coming in on a single through the right side of the infield by Meyer.
Columbus notched two runs in the sixth inning, but the Raiders got one run back in the sixth inning on the strength of a home run to left field off the bat of Harper before hanging on to win the seventh inning.
Harper was the offensive catalyst in the win, driving in four runs on three hits with two runs scored.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.