Jessica Withrow was nearly perfect and the Trenton Lady Tigers opened the playoffs with a 17-0 victory in five innings against Wolfe City in a Class 2A Region II bi-district match-up at Denison on Thursday night.
Trenton (22-5) advances to face Italy in the area round next week.
“We beat them twice this yera and I was worried they might not take them seriously,” Trenton head coach Jeremy Strickland said. “They had a great week of prep and were ready to roll. We’re a little hungry if you can’t tell.”
Wolfe City (7-14) managed just a pair of singles against Withrow, who struck out 12 and did not walk a batter. Kailyn Caldwell got the first hit and Kayliee Pinkston had the other with two outs in the fifth.
“She was on tonight,” Strickland said. “That’s all you can hope for.”
Withrow struck out the first 10 batters she faced before Caldwell worked the count full and then had an infield single between the circle and home when Withrow’s throw to first was late.
With a big lead in the fourth, Withrow hit an inside-the-park home run which plated Carley Stone, who tripled to right on the previous at-bat.
Trenton loaded the bases with one out — Brooke Connelly walked, Bethany Nors reached on a bunt single and Rachel Nors reached on an error — before Maddison Lavoie walked to force in a run for the final scoring of the night.
The Lady Tigers gave the junior right-hander more than enough support by the time Trenton opened a double-digit lead with a seven-run third inning.
Rikki Foreman was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and scored when Karleigh Carter poked an RBI double to left through a drawn-in infield.
Rami Copeland had an RBI groundout before the Lady Tigers loaded the bases and Bethany Nors walked to force in a run to push it to 10-0.
Rachel Nors followed with a two-run RBI single to center and then two more runs were on an error as it became a 12-0 margin.
In the second inning, the Lady Tigers built a 7-0 advantage with all but one of the six runs scoring on errors.
Lavoie reached on one to open the inning, stole second and went to third when the throw went into center field. Foreman walked and continued straight on to second do both runners scored when Carter bunted and it was thrown away at first.
Stone had an RBI double down the right field and she came all the way around when the throw to second went to the right-field foul line to make it 5-0.
Rachel Nors laid down a bunt and an error on that allowed two more runs.
Trenton broke right to the lead in the first. Copeland had a hustle double on a bloop to center field and went to third thanks to an error on the play. Stone laid down a squeeze back to the pitcher and Copeland beat the throw to the plate.
“We played a ton of small ball. We felt like we’d be successful with that,” Strickland said. “Put the pressure on them. We ran the bases really well.”