With a 4-0 win over No. 5 South Central Tuesday, the 10th-ranked Lady Trojans won their first regional championship in school history. Photo by Dale Hubler, Times-Union
With a 4-0 win over No. 5 South Central Tuesday, the 10th-ranked Lady Trojans won their first regional championship in school history. Photo by Dale Hubler, Times-Union
UNION MILLS – Already dominating the game from the pitcher’s circle, Triton High School senior Mallorie Jennings picked a good time to hit her first home run of the season.
Along with pitching a complete-game three-hitter, the Lady Trojans’ star ripped a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday, leading Class 1A No. 10 Triton to a 4-0 win over fifth-ranked South Central in the regional final.
Jennings’ pitching and power led Triton to its first regional championship in school history, as it improved to 23-6 on the season and advanced to Saturday’s Clinton Prairie Semistate.
Following an 11 a.m. semifinal between Carroll and Tri-Central, Triton will play top-ranked North Miami.
“I was just thinking base hit,” Jennings said of her home run. “I had hit a couple fly balls earlier. I just wanted to get on base. It felt good when I hit it. It was my first home run of the season. I guess I saved it for the right time.”
The Lady Trojans took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning and pushed their advantage to 2-0 when junior Hannah Jennings hit an RBI single that scored sophomore Zooe Stephan.
One batter later, Mallorie Jennings certainly helped her own cause, crushing an offering from South Central senior Madi Walter.
“It’s so crazy and unbelievable,” Mallorie Jennings said of Triton advancing to the softball semistate for the first time in school history. “This is a great team accomplishment. I couldn’t ask for a better team behind me.”
Triton played in the regional final a year ago, but fell 9-0 to eventual state champion Lakewood Park Christian.
Tuesday night in Union Mills, the Lady Trojans weren’t going to be denied, as Mallorie Jennings didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning.
The Manchester University recruit struck out six South Central batters and didn’t issue a walk in seven innings of work.
“Mallorie is a pitcher,” said Triton coach Steve McBride. “She’s been solid and gotten better each year. Some girls throw hard, but Mallorie is a pitcher. She’s like Greg Maddux and uses location.”
South Central had two runners on base with no outs in the seventh inning, as Mikayla Easton and Riley Popplewell reached on a single and an error, respectively.
Walter then grounded out, however, and the Lady Trojans celebrated a regional title after Sarah Denhem’s shot to rightfield was caught by Lexee Lemler, who fired the ball to the plate for a double play.
“Lemler has a cannon for an arm,” smiled McBride.
“South Central is a good team,” added McBride. “They were No. 5. I think the teams we played this year prepared us for this.”
Mallorie Jennings and senior catcher Allyson Brown, who will also play at Manchester University, had two hits each for Triton.
Hannah Jennings drove in two runs, the first coming in the fifth inning.
Walter was charged with the loss. She pitched all seven innings for South Central, giving up six hits and a walk, while striking out seven.

(Class 1A, regional final)
T    000    010    3    –    4
SC    000    000    0    –    0
Triton – Mallorie Jennings (W, 7IP, 3H, 0R, 6K, 0BB).
S. Central – Madi Walter (L, 7IP, 6H, 4R, 7K, 1BB).
HR – Mallorie Jennings (T).
Records: Triton 23-6, S. Central 17-7