/Willis, Troy softball team avoids series sweep with 2-1 win over Louisiana at home
(PHOTO/ Chloe Lyle) Freshman pitcher Annie Willis not only held her own against a top-25 offense in Louisiana, but she also pitched a complete game at home to lead her team to a 2-1 win that kept the Trojans from suffering their first series sweep of the season. Willis pitched two strikeouts and forced eight fly-outs and 11 ground-outs.

Willis, Troy softball team avoids series sweep with 2-1 win over Louisiana at home

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Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy softball team lost late-game leads in both games of its Saturday doubleheader against No. 21 Louisiana before winning the series finale on Sunday.

The win over Louisiana in game three snapped a five-game losing streak for the Trojans and gave the Ragin’ Cajuns just their second Sun Belt Conference loss of the season.

After the win against Louisiana, Troy Head Coach Beth Mullins commended freshman pitcher Annie Willis on her performance in game three.

“Annie Willis did an amazing job out there,” Mullins said. “Our pitchers do a great job of keeping us in the ballgame, and she came out and threw a better game in the third game than the first.

“We also played great defense behind her. We are trying to build this team around really great pitching and defense, and that’s what we did today.”

In game one, Troy took its first lead of the game when Katie Webb singled and brought Hope Hernandez to home plate, and Logan Calhoun scored on an error by Louisiana.

An error by Troy in the fifth inning allowed a Louisiana runner to score, and then the Ragin’ Cajuns scored again in the sixth inning to tie the game at two runs each.

Neither team could capitalize in the seventh inning, and the game went into extra innings.

In the 11th inning, Troy got Louisiana down to its last out, but the Ragin’ Cajuns scored an RBI-double and an RBI-triple to gain a 4-2 lead.

The Trojans could not generate runs in the bottom of the 11th and fell 4-2 in game one.

Troy and Louisiana are the No. 1 and No. 3 defensive teams in the Sun Belt, respectively, but both teams’ offenses had better showings in game two.

The Trojans scored two runs in the first inning off a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded wild pitch.

In the second inning, the Ragin’ Cajuns tied the game with two runs of their own, but the Trojans scored five runs off three hits to take a 7-2 lead to end the inning.

Louisiana fought its way back with a two-run home run in the third inning, one run in the fourth inning and a three-run home run in the sixth inning to take the lead for good.

The Trojans had a chance in the seventh inning but could not plate a run, and the Ragin’ Cajuns took game two 8-7, scoring six unanswered runs.

Of the Trojans’ 14 losses, this game marked the sixth time this season the team lost by one run.

In game three, the Trojans fell behind early, but junior Madeline Porter tied the game at one with her second career home run.

The Trojans took the lead for good in the fifth inning when Kaylee Hussey hit a solo home run of her own.

Louisiana got a runner on base in the seventh inning, but the Trojan defense held strong and defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns 2-1 to close out the series.

Willis bounced back from her loss in game one and kept the Ragin’ Cajuns at bay in game three, allowing just four hits and one run in the game.

Willis pitched a complete game and earned her eighth win of the season with an ERA of 1.71.

Next, the Trojans will go on the road to Atlanta to face the Georgia State Panthers. Because of Easter this Sunday, the Trojans will play one game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.