Dixie County, Trenton to meet in title game

Dixie County's Bria Hinkle slides home against Newberry to go up 13-0 in the bottom of the third inning on Tuesday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

The Trenton softball team continues to peak, and they’re doing it at the right time.

On Tuesday night, the No. 2 seed Tigers hosted No. 3 seed Chiefland in a Class 1A-District 7 semifinal and went to work right away in a 5-2 win at John A. Vickers Field.

And it was an 8th-grader, Addi Allaire, who set the tone for the young Tigers and helped lead them to Thursday night’s district championship game against top-seed Dixie County (Cross City).

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Photo by C.J. Gish Chiefland’s Grace Quincey advances to third base as Trenton’s Brandy Dees makes the catch in the top of the fourth inning on Tuesday.

Allaire tossed a complete game four-hitter and struck out 14 batters.

“Addi had a great game,” said first-year Chiefland coach Michelle Meeks. “We had a hard time catching up to it and putting it in play.”

She also finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run for the Tigers (16-7), who have won seven of their last eight games.

“She swung the bat well and she pitched well,” said Trenton coach Clint Anderson. “She’s a game changer for us. When she’s on, she’s tough to hit. She kept them off balance.”

Allaire struck out five of the first eight batters that she faced and didn’t give up her first hit until the fourth inning.

Meanwhile, the Tigers plated two runs off of Indians’ pitcher Mackenzie Fisher in the bottom of the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead.

Allaire reached on an error in right field and scored on a 2-RBI single by sophomore Olivia Weaver.

Junior Jessica Johnson’s squeeze bunt scored Charleigh Philmon and extended it to 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning, and Allaire’s home run to left field in the fifth extended the lead to 4-0.

Chiefland trailed 5-0 in the top of the sixth but plated a pair of runs on three hits.

Fisher walked and Baylie Doty had a bunt single to put two on with none out when Emma Swain had a bloop single to right field to put the Indians (7-15) on the scoreboard.

Down 5-1 with the bases loaded, senior Haley Davis was hit by a pitch to make it 5-2. However, Allaire struck out the next batter, followed by a ground out to end the inning.

Trenton, which doesn’t have any seniors, is starting to come together as a team and will be tough to beat at home in the championship game.

“We told them at the start of the year, ‘it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon, and we have to be at our best by the end of the year,’ and we’re getting there,” Anderson said. “Dixie is a good team. They’ve got good pitching, the catcher is really good, and they’re fast so I anticipate they’re going to try and bunt a lot on us. I told them we have to get outs when they bunt.”

Photo by C.J. Gish Trenton’s Addison Allaire (2) receives a welcome home by her teammates following a solo fifth inning home run shot to left field against Chiefland on Tuesday.

Dixie County 15, Newberry 0 (4)

In the other district semifinal, top-seed Dixie County scored all the runs it would need in the first inning.

After Dixie County pitcher Bria Hinkle retired the side in order in the top of the first, senior Gracie McKinnon led off the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single.

Newberry pitcher Danielle Oliviera hit senior Emily Chewning and sophomore Ava Bechtold to load the bases with no outs.

Photo by C.J. Gish Dixie County’s Gracie McKinnon beats the tag at home by Newberry’s Lauren Heitzler in the bottom of the bottom of the third inning on Tuesday.

Catcher Peyton Hatcher singled to right field to drive in two runs, followed by an RBI ground out by Hinkle for a 3-0 lead.

The Bears (18-5) scored at least two runs in every inning, while Hinkle tossed a 2-hitter with no walks and six strikeouts.

“I think pitching-wise and defensively we did really well,” said Dixie County coach Greg Wimberley. “She pitched great. We were trying to stay away from some pitches tonight. She only pitched certain pitches. We didn’t want to show everything she’s got, but for the pitches that she did throw I thought she pitched really well tonight.”

The Panthers (15-8) had just one runner in scoring position and centerfielder Shylee Brown made a running catch at the warning track to potentially save a run.

“We had a really good year compared to last year,” said Newberry coach Ed Johnson. “The girls showed a lot of growth. We’re excited about the future. This one’s tough. Dixie’s pretty good, their pitcher is pretty good, and they made all the routine plays and a couple of non-routine plays. They’re a really good team.”

FHSAA Softball district tournament results – Tuesday, May 2

Class 1A-District 6 at Branford

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

2 Fort White 10, 3 Union County (Lake Butler) 4

1 Branford 2, 4 Bell 0

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Branford vs. 2 Fort White, 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 7 at Trenton

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

1 Dixie County (Cross City) 15, 5 Newberry 0 (4)

2 Trenton 5, 3 Chiefland 2

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Dixie County (Cross City) vs. 2 Trenton, 7 p.m.

Class 1A-District 8 at Williston

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

3 Hawthorne 21, 2 Glades Day (Belle Glade) 15

1 Williston 24, 4 Wildwood 1 (3)

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Williston vs. 3 Hawthorne, 7 p.m.

Class 3A-District 2 at Higher Seed

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

2 Marianna 11, 3 Suwannee (Live Oak) 1 (6)

Class 3A-District 3 at Keystone Heights

Tuesday, May 2

3 Keystone Heights 8, 2 Palatka 2

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

3 Keystone Heights vs. 4 Interlachen/1 Taylor (Pierson) winner, 6 p.m.

Class 3A-District 5 at Trinity Catholic (Ocala)

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

1 Santa Fe (Alachua) 14, 4 P.K. Yonge 3

2 Trinity Catholic (Ocala) 11, 3 Dunnellon 5

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Santa Fe (Alachua) vs. 2 Trinity Catholic (Ocala), 7 p.m.

Class 5A-District 2 at Middleburg

Tuesday, May 2 – Semifinals

2 Columbia (Lake City) 2, 3 Middleburg 0

1 Ridgeview (Orange Park) 5, 5 Lincoln (Tallahassee) 0

Thursday, May 4 – Championship

1 Ridgeview (Orange Park) vs. 2 Columbia (Lake City), 7 p.m.

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