CAMPBELL HILL — Trico shook off the rust and their first-game nerves to beat West Frankfort 10-3 in a non-conference softball game Friday afternoon.
"Hitting was one of our points of interest coming into the today," said Trico coach Andrew Franklin. "Jade Kranawetter had to shake off the rust because she hasn't thrown off the dirt all spring, because we've been inside most of the time. We've had a lot of gym time where we work on the fundamentals of hitting, so I was hoping we'd hit the ball today."
Trico banged out 12 hits, with all nine players in the batting order finishing with a hit. Kranawetter, shortstop Sydney Levan and designated player Lexi Smith all had two hits and two RBIs.
"It was a bittersweet day because this was my last first high school game of the season," Levan said. "I love all my teammates and I know it's going to be a good senior season for me."
Kranawetter (1-0) gave up a run in the first inning on a wild pitch and another in the third on a two-out double by Stephanie Tucker, but finished strong by setting down six of the last seven batters before being lifted after five innings.
"It was our first game and we came out with a little bit of nerves," Kranawetter said. "We shook them off and played our game from the second inning on."
Trico (1-0) trailed 1-0 after the first inning, but a combination of five hits, an error and some sloppy infield play allowed the Lady Pioneers to score five runs and take the lead in the second inning.
"We've got a young team after graduating five seniors last year, so we've got a lot of learning to do," said first-year West Frankfort coach Jim Piersol. "We're getting better every inning and we're going to be good when it counts."
After Tucker (0-2) set down the side in order in the first, Danyelle Eilers led off with a line drive up the middle and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Katie Gale followed with a hard smash off the glove of the third baseman, advancing Eilers to third, and scored on a heads-up running play when the second baseman held the ball too long.
One out later, with Gale at third after a wild pitch, Smith drove her home with a line drive to right. The Lady Pioneers then loaded the bases on an infield single by Staci Harsy, and when Maysa Titsworth reached on a dropped third strike, bringing Levan to the plate with one out.
Levan has struck out in the first, but this time she hit a hard bouncer that got by the shortstop and went to the wall, driving in pinch-runner Haylee Wolters and Harsy. The final run scored on a two-out wild pitch to Juhle Prange, one pitch before she popped out to second to end the inning.
After West Frankfort cut the lead to 5-2, Trico extended its lead to 7-2 in the third. Eilers led off and reached second on an error, advanced to third after tagging on a fly ball by Gale and scored on a passed ball. Jaelin King followed with a triple and scored on single to right by Smith.
Kranawetter drove in a run in the fourth with a triple after Levan led off with a single. The junior right-hander then scored on a sacrifice fly by Prange.
Trico scored its final run in the fifth with two outs. Titsworth got it started with a single. Levan then walked and Kranawetter singled to left to drive in the run, but the inning ended when Levan was gunned out at third.
West Frankfort (0-2) rudely greeted Levan in the sixth when she took over for Kranawetter, stringing together three hits and scoring on a base hit by Sydney Chamness, but Levan recovered to set down the final four batters in a row, including striking out the first two in the seventh.