Earlier in the tournament McMinn handed Polk a 4-2 loss to put them in the losers’ side of the bracket.
Home field must have suited the girls from Benton as they didn’t waste any time burying thier rivals, running away with a 11-0 win, and a shot at the championship.
“They beat us Monday. We scored enough runs early and put pressure on them. Some good, timely hitting relaxed us. We hit it from top to bottom,” explained Polk County head coach Bill Triplett.
Jordan Triplett provided Polk County with another solid start. She went five strong, four-hitting the Lady Chargers and notching a pair of Ks on her way to the shutout win.
The offense got rolling in the home half of the third when Kaitlyn Williams drew a leadoff walk. Felecia Johnson advanced her into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
Danielle Harvey reached safely on a swinging third strike when the ball got away from McMinn Central’s catcher.
Lydia Triplett made them pay with a monster two-RBI double. Sydney Sloan and Lily Cuzzort kept things going with back-to-back walks.
Caroline Jenkins laced a single down the left field line that plated two more runs and had the Lady Charger’s starter visibly frustrated.
Cuzzort and Jenkins both crossed the plate when Briana Muller reached safely on a McMinn error, and Williams and Johnson both reached safely again with a pair of walks before the Lady Chargers stopped the bleeding with a pitching change and managed to record the third out.
Yet, the damage had been done. Polk had hung six runs on the opposition and knocked out McMinn’s starter on just two hits, two errors and five walks.
The Lady Wildcats weren’t finished though, and in the bottom of the next frame they made the threat of a mercy rule victory a reality.
Sloan drew her second walk of the game with one out to get things rolling for Polk County. Cuzzort followed when she reached on Central’s fourth error of the ballgame.
“We put pressure on them. You swing the bat well and put some hard hit balls in play it causes things to happen. I’m very proud of these girls,” said coach Triplett.
Jenkins made McMinn pay for the extra out with an RBI double, and Jordan helped herself with a long two-RBI double.
Muller got the free pass, and Williams drove Jordan in with an RBI single. The 11th and final run crossed the plate on another Lady Charger error when they couldn’t handle a hard-hit Johnson ground ball.
Jordan didn’t waste any time wrapping things up. After McMinn got its fourth and final hit, she got the next batter to pop up a bunt that doubled off the runner on first base, and got the third out on a groundout, closing the game with an 11-0 mercy rule victory.
The win grants Polk a berth in the Region 3-AA tournament.
“I call these girls the ‘Terrible Tens’ because all 10 girls play as a bunch to get things done. We’ve had to struggle through with low numbers, but I sure do like playing in the playoffs,” the head coach said.
The Lady Wildcats will travel to Meigs County High School today for a shot at the district championship. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. If Polk wins today’s game the two teams will play once more Friday to decide how the tournament wraps up.
In their two meetings this season Polk has yet to capture a victory, falling to Meigs 3-0 in their first meeting and 4-3 in the second matchup.
Region play kicks off on Monday. The Lady Wildcats will either travel to or host a team from Chattanooga.
LADY WILDCATS 11, LADY CHARGERS 0
McMinn Central 000 00x x — 0 4 5
Polk County 006 5xx x — 11 7 0
WP: Jordan Triplett 5 IP, 2 Ks, 0 BB, 4 H, 0 ER. LP: Carpenter 2.6 IP, 3 Ks, 5 BB, 4 H, 0 ER. 2B:Lydia Triplett, Caroline Jenkins, J. Triplett. RBI: L. Triplett 2, C. Jenkins 3, J. Triplett 2, Kaitlyn Williams.