Mackenzie Marrell drove in three runs, including the official game winner, and Bailey Cooley pitched six scoreless innings as TCA Conquerors Softball shut out the Clay High Blue Devils 5-0 Thursday evening in the opening game of the 2019 Tournament of Champions at Oakleaf High School.
Marrell's RBI double in the top of the third scored Alexis Ross, who had bunted her way aboard and stolen second base. Ross had three hits of her own: two infield singles in her first two at bats and a run-scoring drive into right in the sixth, which was the game's final run.
Marrell then came to bat in the fifth and laced a two-run single up the middle that brought home Breezy Burnett (single) and Reagan Griffis (fielder's choice) to make the score 4-0. Griffis had just driven in Morgan McMillian (reached on an error) with a ground-ball to give the Conquerors a 2-0 lead.
Griffis played spectacular defense, making several tough plays on hard-hit balls from the Blue Devils. These plays included a reflex grab when the ball hit off first baseman Lexi Crews. Griffis snared it and got the runner at first to end the fourth inning.
Cooley (W: 7-2, 2.11 ERA) allowed only three hits in six innings pitched. She walked no one and struck out three. Cooley had a stretch of 16 consecutive batters between the first through one and sixth innings before Clay's Kylee Stacy and Marianne McDonald hit laser beams up the middle. McDonald led off the game with a hard single to center, but Cooley then went on her long hitless streak. McMillain relieved in the seventh and tossed a 1-2-3 frame to close out the game.
Amaya Ross was 2 for 4, including a double, while Burnett had two hits, stole a base, and scored a run. Ross had four defensive assists at shortstop, and Burnett made a sliding catch from her knees in left field.
On Friday night, The Conquerors (10-2) will face the winner of Game 2 between Oakleaf and West Nassau.
UPDATE: Trinity will play Oakleaf Friday night.
The game will air on FM 91.7 The Truth and on www.ilovethetruth.com's Listen Live. A Friday night win will put Trinity in the tournament title game Saturday at 7:00 p.m. whereas a Friday loss means a consolation game Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Broadcasting for Saturday is undetermined at this time.