Trinity smacked two first-inning home runs and Chase Machain pitched her third consecutive shutout as the Blazers opened their own Class 4A Sectional with a 4-0 victory over Lyons on Wednesday.
Trinity leadoff hitter Abby Ramirez (3-for-3, 3 RBI) led off the bottom of the first with a blast to left-center field on a 2-0 pitch. One batter later, Nicole Evans went deep to left on an 0-2 offering to stake the Blazers (30-7) to a 2-0 lead.
Machain tossed the shutout, but not without some scary moments. Lyons threatened in every inning but the first and last, but Machain came away unscathed each time.
“I was just trying to throw to spots because they were on the plate covering the outside corner, and was just trying to do anything I could to stop them from getting runs,” Machain said. “When I needed to I was hitting my spots and it paid off pretty well with some outs when they had runners on base.”
Machain also said she was overjoyed when her teammates hit the two homers in the first.
“It was amazing,’’ she said. ‘‘Starting off like that just sets the momentum for the game — that gave us so much energy.’’
The Blazers added two more unearned runs, while the Lions (19-15-1) threatened repeatedly but could not score, leaving 10 runners stranded, eight in scoring position.
“Chase just battles,” Trinity coach Bob Osborne said. “That’s the difference between her as a sophomore and a junior — she just thrives on those situations. She makes the right pitches in those situations and doesn’t miss her spot with two strikes.”
Lyons had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth after a single by Alyssa Koziol and a sacrifice bunt followed by a throwing error. But an infield pop-up and liner to second ended the rally try.
The Lions, who out-hit the Blazers seven to six, loaded the bases in the next inning with one out, but again Machain wiggled out of the jam.
“They're a very good team,” Lyons coach Dawn Schabacker said. “We rattled them a little bit and they made some errors with our small-ball game, but every time we threatened they would come up with a great play or the pitcher would throw a good pitch. That has kind of been the story of our season, leaving a lot of runners on base.”
Lyons center fielder Becky Ryckman led the offense with three hits.