Polk drops Coalfield in battle of Tripletts
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
Apr 01, 2014 | 424 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Polk County Softball

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BENTON — The Polk County softball field served as a mini family reunion Monday evening as head coach Bill Triplett’s Lady Wildcats took on daughter Katie Triplett’s Coalfield Lady Yellow Jackets.

Having defeated the Lady Yellow Jackets 14-2 at Coalfield on March 20, the Lady Wildcats (11-2, 4-0) closed out the series at home with a 13-3 10-run rule victory in the sixth inning.

“I’m glad this series is over. It’s been fun, but Coach (Katie) Triplett’s ball club at Coalfield is hurting due to some injuries,” Coach Bill Triplett stated. “They’re still responding well to her though, and are undefeated in their district, and that’s all you can ask for.”

Polk County’s Briana Muller once again had an impressive outing from the pitcher’s circle, striking out 10 Coalfield batters in the six-inning game.

“We’ve had good pitching the whole year between Hannah Triplett and Briana Muller, and for the most part have played very good defense, and I’m pleased with that,” Triplett said.

The Lady Wildcats were able to take advantage of back-to-back walks in the bottom of the second.

After seeing their first two batters strike out, both Ashlynn Johnson and Macie Waldroup were walked, giving Polk runners on first and second base.

Felecia Johnson’s follow-up hit to centerfield drove in Ashlynn Johnson for the Lady Wildcats’ first run of the game, and left runners on second and third base.

Aubrie Bowman reached first due to a walk, loading up the bases.

A hit by Kaitlyn Williams drove in Waldroup for the second run, and kept the bases loaded.

Muller stepped up to the plate and drove one into left field, which brought Felecia Johnson and Bowman in for two more runs.

The second inning came to a close following a pop-up hit that was caught by the Coalfield third baseman.

Coalfield was able to capitalize on a pair of Polk errors in the top of the third and bring in one run.

With their normal starting pitcher out with an injury, the Lady Yellow Jackets began with their secondary pitcher, Diana Ratcliff, who was able to strike out five Polk batters before leaving the game due to an ankle injury early in the bottom of the third.

The replacement pitcher came in with no outs, and Polk runners on first and second.

Ashlynn Johnson was walked, loading up the bases.

Waldroup’s hit drove in what was the first of six Lady Wildcat runs.

Another hit by Felecia Johnson drove in another run, and once again loaded the bases.

The Coalfield pitcher then walked the next two Polk batters, which gave the Lady Wildcats two more runs.

Before she reached first due to a base on balls, two wild pitches during Muller’s at bat resulted in the final two runs of the third inning for Polk County.

After a rough third inning for Coalfield, the Lady Wildcats had a 10-1 lead going into the fourth.

There was no change in the score in the fourth inning, but the Lady Yellow Jackets were able to bring in two more runs in the top of the fifth.

Back-to-back hits to start the inning gave Coalfield runners on first and second.

A third hit successfully loaded up the bases, and the resulting play gave the Lady Yellow Jackets their second run of the game.

One last hit deep to centerfield brought in the final run for Coalfield, before Muller was able to close out the inning by striking out the last batter.

Shaky pitching by the Lady Yellow Jackets continued in the bottom of the fifth, and following three walks and a wild pitch, the Lady Wildcats had their 11th run of the game.

In the bottom of the sixth, Polk County got two more runs, which brought the game to a close due to the 10-run rule.

“I was proud that my girls stepped it up and kept their heads in the game. It was tough, but we’ll get them next year,” Coalfield coach and 2009 Polk County graduate Katie Triplett commented. “It’s always been so competitive between my dad and I. The first time we played it was at my place, and I cried after the game.”

The Lady Wildcats will have little time to rest, as they host McMinn Central in District 5-AA play this evening at 5:30 p.m.

“We’ve got to come out with a pulse, because McMinn Central is coming in here with a big district game on the line,” Coach Bill Triplett stated. “If we come out with some passion and heart, I think we’ll be OK.”

LADY WILDCATS 13, LADY YELLOW JACKETS 3

Coalfield 001 020 — 3 4 2

Polk County 046 012 — 13 6 2

WP: Briana Muller 10 K’s, 4 H, 3 BB (PC). LP: M. Meredith (C). Highlights: Felecia Johnson 2 hits, 2 RBIs; Hannah Withrow 2 hits, RBI; Muller 1 hit, run; Hannah Triplett 1 hit, RBI. Records: Polk County 11-2, 4-0 District 5-AA.