Ed Trochim preaches to his players to look at the scoreboard.
Friday afternoon, the Midway softball team gathered for a quick picture under the scoreboard after its match-up against Belton.
Sure, the 6-2 final score in favor of Midway says plenty.
It gives Belton its first loss in district play which puts both teams at 11-1 atop the district standings with two games left.
But another huge number for the Panthers was actually a blank spot on the scoreboard — Midway didn’t commit a single error.
“I thought we were awesome,” Trochim said. “We got after them early. We played an errorless game. Usually the team that makes the fewest errors will win.”
Belton, however, had three errs.
The first came in the first inning as Tiger catcher Bethany Edwards threw down to second to try to pick off Rhein Trochim who was a few steps off the bag.
Problem was, no one was covering the bag for Belton, and as the ball soared into center field, Trochim made her way to third.
She later scored when Sophie Wideman singled on the first pitch she saw.
Belton committed its second error an inning later as the third baseball overthrew first. Midway went on to score twice in the second inning.
And the final error came in the fourth inning as the shortstop overthrew first and a Midway run scored from third.
“We got some timely hits,” coach Trochim said. “We got some hits that dropped. We ran the bases well, too.”
While the Panthers capitalized off those Belton errors, Midway also fared well at the plate.
Overall, the Panthers finished with seven hits, four of which came of Belton’s starting pitcher Madison Cotton.
Midway batted through the order in the bottom of the first inning for three runs and kept things going in the second as Cotton was pulled with two outs in the bottom of the second.
“We got on her,” Trochim said. “Last time we played her she just mowed us down. With pitchers that happens. My hats off to her for the first game she pitched. She just didn’t have it exactly today. We got after her. The other girl who came in for them pitched well, too.”
While the Midway offense got things rolling, the Panther defense set the tone early.
Midway retired Belton in order in the top of the first as the Tigers only had one baserunner through the first three innings.
Belton didn’t record a hit until the fourth inning, and it wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Tigers scored.
Midway pitcher Jazmine Gendorf finished with five strikeouts on the afternoon, perhaps none better than her fifth in the top of the sixth.
The Tigers, for the first time all afternoon, had two runners on at first and second.
With two outs, Belton’s Caleigh Robinson blasted a double off the left field wall to put two runs on the board.
That brought Meredith Lusby to the plate for the Tigers.
Gendorf battled through a full count to strike Lusby out looking to end the inning.
“Jaz was outstanding,” Trochim said. “Jaz lost a game early in the year to Atascocita in the last inning. I told her, I said, ‘We’re going to finish this one.’ She responded great. She’s a good kid.”
Now, Midway and Belton are tied for first with two games left in district play.
Next up, the Panthers have to take a four hour bus ride to take on San Angelo.
Looking forward, Trochim is eager to see how his players respond to a road game that far away.
As for right now, he apologized to his players that he might have to steal one of their weekends soon.
“I told them I kind of screwed up by tying the district,” Trochim said with a grin. “We might have to have a playoff to play first and second. I said, ‘I may steal one of your weekends or something like that. I apologize that we have to do this.’”