Tattnall Square had plenty of experience playing in the GISA softball Final Four.
But playing in the championship series was a foreign feeling. In their eighth trip to the Final Four since 2003, the Trojans finally took the next step to the championship series in their final opportunity with the school moving to the GHSA next school year.
They made that appearance count.
Tattnall recovered from an opening game loss to beat Westfield twice, earning the school its first GISA fastpitch championship. The Trojans have five slowpitch softball championships.
“Absolutely this feels great, you go out on top,” Tattnall head coach Joey Hiller said. “Our last year in the GISA, we were champions. That’s what all of our programs are trying to do this year.”
Westfield lost in the championship series for the fourth straight year after falling to Stratford in each of the past three seasons.
Tattnall ace Kirsten Albright didn’t allow a run over the final 10 innings of the series.
She pitched a six-hit shutout in Tattnall’s 4-0 win in Game 3.
Jade Moncrief hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and the Trojans tacked on two more runs to give Albright more than enough cushion.
The Trojans pitcher escaped a jam in the bottom of the second after the Hornets got runners on second and third with no outs. Albright induced a comebacker for the first out and struck out the final two hitters to keep Westfield off the scoreboard.
Albright retired nine straight before needing another comebacker to get out of a jam in the sixth with Hornets runners stranded on the corners.
The Trojans rolled up 13 hits in Game 3, continuing an offensive explosion that started in Game 2.Needing a win to stay alive, Tattnall scored 13 runs in a three-inning span – including seven in the bottom of the sixth – to earn a 14-1 win in Game 2.
Moncrief went 4-for-4 with a home run, and Kendall Hardy and Jordan Allen both added homers in the win. Each of the three had three RBI in the win.
“We didn’t want to let go of the momentum we had, and we hit it as good as we could in Game 2 and Game 3,” Hiller said.
Albright allowed just four hits and one run in her complete-game victory in Game 2.
Syndey Barker pitched a shutout in Game 1, allowing seven hits to the Trojans in Westfield’s 4-0 win.
The Hornets led 1-0 for much of the game but padded the lead with a home run by Hannah Edwards in the bottom of the sixth.
“I think that first ball game we were caught up in the moment,” Hiller said. “We got away from doing some things that got us there.”
Albright also pitched a complete game in Game 1, allowing four runs and 11 hits on 96 pitches. She recovered from the rocky start in Game 1 to pitch dominant over the next 14 innings.
“That’s just who she is as a person and as a player,” Hiller said. “When her back is against the wall, she is a battler. This is her team, and we were going to go how she went.”