The last three years have something of a golden era for Trenton softball.
The Tigers repeated as 1A state champions in 2021, going 20-1 after an unbeaten 27-0 season and the program's first state title in 2019. In between, they went 10-0 in an abbreviated 2020 season for a total of 57 wins in their last 58 games.
And when you talk Trenton softball, you are talking about starting pitcher Darian Ingram.
Ingram, a senior and FAU signee, highlights the inaugural Mainstreet Daily News/The Prep Zone All Area Softball Team for small schools. A panel of local sports writers and coaches chose the team from Mainstreet’s eight-county coverage area. Each of the 44 players and coaches honored will receive a commemorate plaque in recognition of their accomplishments.
Ingram, who was also named Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Softball, finished off a fantastic high school career with an 18-1 record, 0.68 ERA and 232 strikeouts in 114 innings. She also hit .440 with 22 hits and nine RBI.
Ingram struck out 17 in a 3-2 state semifinal win over Branford and then added 13 more in the 5-4 state championship game win over Jay at Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont.
"Darian has been one of the most dominating players in Florida high school softball for the past four years," Trenton coach Todd Bryant said. "She has written her way into the record books and I don't think anyone can dispute that. She's been a great teammate and has always been willing to share the spotlight. I'm thankful I had the chance to coach her."
Darian's twin sister Adrian joins her on the All Area squad. Adrian, who will join her sister at FAU, wrapped up her Trenton career by hitting .438 with 28 hits and 33 runs scored, while playing a solid shortstop and second base (.926 fielding percentage). Adrian also led the Tigers with 19 stolen bases.
The final Trenton All Area selection is another senior: first baseman Keeli Zingaro. Zingaro, a Stetson signee, led Trenton at the plate with a .541 average and 11 home runs to go with 34 RBI, 33 hits and 35 runs scored. And she hit some huge homers as well. Zingaro homered in all three wins against rival Dixie County, including the Region 4-1A final, and hit a huge three-run shot in the state championship game.
Speaking of Dixie County, the Bears had a pretty good season of their own. Dixie County finished 20-3, with all three losses coming to Trenton, which put the Bears just short of their first softball final four appearance.
Despite that, the Bears place two players on the All Area team, led by senior catcher Camrin Wimberley. Wimberley batted a team-high .492 and also led Dixie County with 32 hits, 16 doubles and 37 RBI. And as her father, Dixie County coach Greg Wimberley says, it's also pretty hard to steal on Camrin.
"She has a cannon for an arm and players seldom run on her," Wimberley said. "She only had 13 stolen base attempts all season and she threw out nine of those. When coaches see her throw down, it changes their game plan."
Wimberley also helped Dixie County sophomore starting pitcher Bria Hinkle to a successful 2021 season. Hinkle joins Darian Ingram as an All Area pitcher, sporting a 13-3 record, 1.06 ERA and 159 strikeouts against only only 13 walks in 112 innings.
Union County and Williston place two players each on the team. Shortstop Leah Clark, only a sophomore, led the Tigers with a .541 average, 40 hits, 37 runs and 26 RBI. She also stole 31 bases, helping Union County win another district title. Senior outfielder Reah Jones also earned a spot on the team, batting .308 with 25 runs scored and 18 RBI, to go along with an .844 fielding percentage.
Sophomore outfielder Maci Vonderstrasse and freshman outfielder Nevaeh Hayes represent the Red Devils, who despite an 8-15 record won a district title and advanced to the 1A state playoffs. Hayes hit a team-high .488 with 42 hits, 33 runs, 35 RBI, eight doubles and six triples and was also one of Williston's main pitchers.
Vonderstrasse hit an even .400, driving in 21 runs with 34 hits and 29 runs scored.
The final member of the first team is third baseman Madyson Sikes of 1A state semifinalist Branford. The Bucs were 15-5 and advanced to their first final four due in part to the heroics of Sikes, an 8th grader who was one of team's top hitters. She finished with a .449 average, 35 hits, 24 runs and nine doubles with 15 runs batted in.
This is the first of a five-part series on the 2021 All Area baseball and softball teams, presented by Mainstreet Daily News and The Prep Zone. To see the full softball roster and honorable mentions, click here.