Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Trinity Shamrocks Capture First Ever District 3 Softball Championship

One piece of championship hardware not in Trinity’s stuffed District 3 trophy case has been one for girls’ softball. After the program’s clutch 4-3 victory over Kennard-Dale in the Class 4A championship played at Millersville University’s Seaber Field on May 29, that is no longer the case.

Trinity didn’t start the season winning ball games in bunches, but according to head coach Robert Sullivan, the ’Rocks have been playing great the last few weeks and have been peaking just at the right time – playoff time.

From the first pitch against the Rams, Trinity was aggressive at the plate as they scored three quick runs to stun the Rams and their ace, Taryn Ashenfelter, whose velocity is not easy to catch up to as a hitter.

After the initial damage, the Rams’ hurler settled in, and Trinity’s bats went quiet until the sixth inning, when the clean-up hitter Taylor Lawrence ripped a triple into right center that went all the way to the wall. After a Ram fielding miscue, Trinity was back in the lead, 4-3 ,as Kennard-Dale had nibbled away at the ’Rocks lead during the middle innings to knot the score.

Trinity’s hurler Landry Murray (19-5) battled control problems throughout the game, but when she needed an out, she was able to make a pitch to get out of late-inning jams. In fact, the Rams had the tying run on third and the winning run on first in the bottom of the seventh, but Murray struck out the penultimate batter and caused a weak pop-out to first base to end the game. Jubilant teammates mugged the pitching circle, where Murray stood ready to celebrate with the team that had just won its first ever District 3 softball championship.

“Oh, this is just awesome and very exciting for all of us,” Murray (100 strikeouts on the year) said after the game, clutching the newly won trophy. “I have confidence in my defense, and I just trusted them.”

As well she should, as her defense made a dandy play up the middle for a fielder’s choice force-out to end the sixth inning when the Rams were threatening. It was a tense, anybody-could-win type of ballgame, but in the end, Trinity was better in the field defensively and delivered timely hits in the clutch. If pitching and defense win softball championships, it never hurts to hit, too. The ’Rocks had eight solid hits against a quality pitcher.

“They dug down and found a way,” Coach Sullivan said. “It’s all about the team in Trinity softball and everybody on the field or on the bench fills a role. They bought into the team concept and now they are champs.”

No longer is the ’Rocks championship case void a trophy.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

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