One more win and the Trinity Lutheran softball team will repeat as sectional champions for the first time in school history.
Monday, the Cougars pounded 12 hits in a 9-6 Class A Sectional 61 victory against host West Washington.
After retiring the Senators in order in the top of the first inning, Trinity’s Jodi Goecker and Jaryn Holtsclaw were both hit by pitches.
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Goecker then stole third base and Amanda Wright bunted to load the bases. With two outs, Vidalis Montanez hit a 2 RBI single to left field to give the Cougars the lead.
Senators pitcher Kacey Kaelin struck the next batter out which left two on base for Trinity.
The Senators got two on base in the top of the second on a walk by Cougars pitcher Hannah Deaton and hit by Kacey Kaelin.
With the next at-bat, a Cougars error on a throw to first base from the short stop allowed the Senators to score two and tie the game. Deaton closed the top of the second on a strikeout.
Deaton led off with a single and made it to third base on a bunt from Taylor Russell in the bottom of the second inning. Savannah Harweger then bunted to score courtesy runner Maddie Bell, which retook the lead at 3-2.
With one out, Jaryn Holtsclaw and Wright hit back-to-back RBI singles to extend the Cougars’ lead to 5-2.
Needing a change, the Senators subbed Kaelin for Cora Miller in the circle, who would retire the next two Cougars batters.
While both teams managed a hit in the third inning, neither would get in scoring position.
After a lead off double, Goecker scored on an error at the Senators’ first base off a hit by Holtsclaw in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Holtsclaw reached all the way to third base on the play before Wright hit an RBI double to push the Cougars’ lead to 7-2.
Back-to-back bunts loaded the bases with one out for the Cougars. Deaton then sacrificed to score Wright, and the Cougars led 8-2 after four innings.
The Senators cut their deficit to five runs on an RBI single from Tilly Gilbert after Kassy Keltner led off with a triple in the top of the fifth inning.
Harweger led off with a double in the bottom of the fifth inning, and followed up by stealing third base.
Goecker then sacrificed to score Harweger to give the Cougars a 9-3 cushion.
A scoreless sixth inning, which was highlighted by a double play by Trinity, gave the Senators one last round of at-bats.
With two on base, and two outs, errors at Trinity’s first and third bases led to three Senators runs, narrowing the Cougar’s lead to six.
The Cougars’ Sophia Stahl caught a fly ball to right field to end the Senators’ chances.
Both Cougars head coach Chad Goecker and assistant coach Libby Followell said they were pleased with how the team came out in the first postseason game.
“We’re really proud of the way they played,” Goecker said. “They played hard every inning. We had good productivity throughout our lineup scoring in four out of six innings.”
Trinity had five errors to the Senators’ two mistakes.
Deaton went the distance on the mound, finishing with six strikeouts, seven hits, one walk and just one earned run.
Wright led the Cougars’ offense with three hits while Harweger, Holtsclaw and Goecker each had two.
Trinity is familiar with Orleans, as they beat the Bulldogs 5-1 on April 3.
“We’re going to go out hard and fast, we’re not going to let up,” Followell said. “We stayed on it the whole game (against Orleans) and didn’t get comfortable. Our errors came from excitement, and we’re going to contain that excitement (today), go out, execute and get it done.”