Softball: Conquerors Fall to Baker in Five

The TCA Varsity Lady Conquerors took their 9-1 record on the road Tuesday night to face the very tough Class 5A Wildcats of Baker County High School. The Conquerors, behind Bailey Cooley, won the February 28 match-up 1-0 over Madison Lagle and the Wildcats at Trinity and had a chance at the season sweep. Baker, though, took advantage of multiple miscues, and Lagle kept the Trinity bats in check once again as Baker won 10-0 in five innings.

Alexis Ross bunted her way aboard twice after getting hit by a pitch in her first at bat to reach base three times. Reagan Griffis also had a bunt single, and Mackenzie Marrell singled into center field for the Conquerors, who faced one of the top-rated pitchers in all of Florida.

Baker's Liz McGovern drove in three runs, including the official game winner on a two-run double in the bottom of the third. Kat Rhoden followed with a double off the top of the fence that barely missed leaving the yard to score McGovern, and Baker led 3-0 after the inning ended.

Baker then rallied for five innings in the fourth by taking advantage of three defensive errors. Mikayla Mulkey's two-run triple down the right-field line capped the scoring after Sara Keves drove in Cassidi Beaver two batters earlier. Baker then added two more in the bottom of the fifth, and the game ended on a run-scoring single from Rhoden with the bases loaded.

Lagle (W: 5-1, 0.64 ERA) pitched five scoreless innings in which she allowed only four hits while walking three and striking out eight. Only two of the eight runs off Cooley (L: 6-2, 2.38) were earned in Cooley's 3 2/3 innings of work.

NOTE: Baker held a pre-game "Hits for Haley" ceremony to honor Haley Crews, a Wildcat who is battling cancer. Baker's softball team, school, and fans also participated in a cake auction Tuesday night, which -- combined with other fundraisers -- helped raise over $7,500 for Haley's treatments.

Trinity (9-2) will have a quick chance to rebound as they prepare for the Oakleaf Tournament of Champions. Trinity will play Clay High School (6-3) Thursday at 5:00 p.m. at Oakleaf High School in Round 1. The game will stream live on Facebook: TCA Conquerors Athletics.

A win over Clay pits the Conquerors against the winner of the later game between Oakleaf and West Nassau Friday night at 7:00 p.m. In that scenario, Friday night's game would air on FM 91.7 The Truth. A loss Thursday means Trinity plays the Oakleaf/West Nassau loser Friday at 3:00 p.m., and broadcasting is uncertain in that event.

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