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Mukka lifts Tigers to county title

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

FAIRLAND — Liz Mukka does not lack character. 

The Triton Central starting pitcher, who dyed her hair green ahead of Friday's Shelby County Tournament championship, uses an easy-going attitude when playing the game she loves. Although a fierce competitor while in the circle, Mukka is anything but serious away from it. She is funny and upbeat. With a genuine personality, Mukka helps ease the Tigers' minds.  

Mukka was all smiles after her team was able to top Waldron 11-2 Friday for its fouth consecutive county title. The sophomore, who joked about the green dye in her hair after the game, finished with seven strikeouts and one earned run Friday (seven innings) against an improved Waldron program. At the plate, Mukka knocked two hits. 

"We have really seen Waldron improve in recent years," Mukka said after the game, showing great sportsmanship. "Today, my off-speed changeup was working. It really depends on the day (with what pitch is working). You can never have that perfect day. If you can, kudos to you. But the girls have been great all season (behind me) if I am ever in a slump."

On Friday, TC scored two runs in the second, third and fourth innings before adding four in the seventh to run away with the victory. 

Tigers' head coach Aaron Pyle said the plan with Mukka was to produce ground balls or easy pop ups. She seemed to keep the ball low in the zone most of the evening and let her defense do the work. 

"We didn't want anything in the zone to where they could get solid line drives or hits," Pyle said. "Mukka did exactly what we wanted her to do."

Waldron's Maddie Robinson took the loss for the Mohawks but was consistent in the circle. 

Triton Central's Savannah Trueblood led the Tigers, who finished with 15 hits in the win, with three base hits, one double and one RBI. Sydney Bass, Justus Gibbons, Taylor Heath and Kim Jinks added two hits. Heath also scored three runs, while Jaime Pyle had one hit and two RBIs.

For Waldron, Madalyn Hudnall scored the team's first run of the game in the second inning. WHS added a run in the seventh, as well, and finished with four hits.

In the second inning, Mohawks' third baseman Amanda Brinson completed a nice double play. She fielded a ground ball, put her foot on the bag at third and immediately made a throw to first base to get the runner. 

"We knew (Waldron) was going to give us a challenge," Pyle said. "We just went out and played our game."

Pyle said his senior class, which includes Bass, Madison Hartman and Addison Meier, has meant a great deal to the program. One senior, however, starting catcher Katie Cook, was unable to play Friday with an injury to her left arm and fingers. Cook will continue her softball career at IU Southeast next season but will not play the remainder of the high school season. 

"Sydney has been a leader in the outfield for four years," Pyle said. "Katie has also been a leader since she has been on the team. Whether she is playing or in the dugout, Katie is a leader. And Madison at first base has come up big when we need her. Addison stepped in at second base a few years ago and has owned that position."

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.