BENTON — Polk County got the District 5-AA softball tournament started out in a familiar fashion Monday evening by doing what it’s done best this whole season: beating district opponents.
In their 7-0 shutout over Loudon, the Lady Wildcats recorded a total of 13 hits, while only giving up six hits.
Polk’s bats went from zero-to-60 in the first inning, with the first four girls in the lineup getting a solid piece of the ball.
“We hit it enough and got some good production early in the game with one, two, three, four hitters,” head coach Bill Triplett described.
Aubrie Bowman got things started with a double, and Kaitlyn Williams advanced her to third with a clean single.
While Briana Muller was standing in at the plate, Williams was able to reach second on a wild pitch.
A line drive to center field by Muller sent Bowman in for the first run.
Hannah Triplett’s hit to left field brought Williams home and gave Polk runners on first and third with no outs.
During Hannah Withrow’s at bat, Triplett stole second, and then a sacrifice hit by Withrow drove in Muller for the Lady Wildcat’s fourth run.
Polk was able to make it back to the top of its lineup before Loudon was able to close out the inning.
The Lady Wildcats’ held their 4-0 lead for the next four innings, but were also unable to add any runs to the board themselves.
In the bottom of the fifth, Polk was able to score its final three runs of the game.
Leading things off, Muller came close to hitting a home run, but the ball dropped right at the fence, resulting in a double.
Triplett reached first thanks to an error by the Lady Redskins’ shortstop, and a follow-up bunt by Withrow gave Muller enough time to reach home plate.
With runners on first and second, Emily Bates followed suit with a bunt of her own, and was able to load up the bases.
Ashlynn Johnson sent one into center field to drive Triplett in for the sixth Lady Wildcat run, while keeping the bases loaded.
Macie Waldroup attempted to follow suit, but the ball was caught by the Loudon left fielder for the first out of the inning.
An infield hit by Felecia Johnson brought Bates home for Polk’s final run of the game.
Despite posting a shutout, the Lady Wildcats did finish with a total of two errors.
“We played really good defense on the right-hand side and didn’t particularly play good on the left-hand side, but we played good enough. That’s all it is, survival from here on out,” Coach Triplett stated.
Two plays by third baseman Williams to first baseman Muller in the top of the fifth impressed Coach Triplett.
“The two plays we made late in the game that Muller and Kaitlyn Williams made up the middle were good plays, and bailed us out to keep the shutout intact. What can you say about your pitching when they throw shutouts?” Triplett asked.
The Lady Wildcats will continue their tournament play at 5:30 this evening at home against Sequoyah, who defeated McMinn Central 6-3 Tuesday.
LADY WILDCATS 7, LADY REDSKINS 0
Loudon 000 000 0 — 0 6 1
Polk County 400 050 x — 7 13 2
WP: Hannah Triplett (14-3), 8 K’s. LP: Lexi Harmon. 2B: Aubrie Bowman, Briana Muller (PC); Harmon (L). Highlights: Kaitlyn Williams 2-3; Muller 2-4, 2 runs; Hannah Withrow 2-4, RBI; Emily Bates 2-3 (PC); Harmon 3-4 (L). Records: Polk County 22-6.