By: Caleb Odom
Despite sweeping a Saturday doubleheader on April 6, the Troy softball team was unable to defeat Florida Atlantic on Sunday, April 7, falling 5-3.
“Florida Atlantic has been a big time rival for us in our softball program,” Troy head coach Melanie Davis said. “To take the series win was big for us. We were very proud of our girls.”
With the series already won on Saturday, Troy was looking for the weekend sweep on Sunday but the Owls of FAU had other plans.
The Trojans’ 6th inning rally fell apart but part of the blame has to be credited to Troy’s two costly errors.
“When we did make the mistakes to give Florida Atlantic those runs,” Davis said. “I think our kids did a good job of bouncing back, working really hard and putting the runners on, and, unfortunately, in the third game of the series we went a little bit backwards in terms of our overall performance.”
It was a 5-2 FAU lead in the middle of the 6th so time was running out for the Trojans to make a late inning comeback.
Troy didn’t waste any time mounting that very comeback as evidenced by first baseman Kacie McAllister’s leadoff double that banged off the fence in left center.
Right fielder Amanda Winters was the next batter, and she proceeded to sky the ball high to left field where the Owls’ fielder Lindsey Shell was camped under it.
What looked like an instant out No. 1 was off Shell’s glove for a Winters RBI double that scored McAllister from second.
With the score suddenly 5-3 FAU, the momentum had shifted to the Trojan dugout.
Next up was Troy left fielder Keelie Housley, who trotted to first base with a walk.
The first out of the bottom of the 6th inning was recorded only after Trojan second baseman Taylor Smartt laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved Winters to third and Housley to second.
Shortstop Bailey Blake’s one out walk to load the bases full of Trojans set the table for Troy to blow the game open with one swing.
But it was not be when catcher Hannah Renn flew out to shallow right field and Blake was doubled up at first to end the inning in a crushing fashion.
The score would hold through seven innings and the Owls escaped Troy with the Sunday 5-3 victory.
“I’m disappointed that we weren’t able to complete it,” Davis said. “I know we had some seniors, former players who were out on the deck, former alumni who were wanting to get the broom out and I really feel like we were very capable of that.”
The Trojans had jumped out to a two run lead early in the bottom of the 2nd inning but FAU came back to tie the game up 2-2 in the top of the 5th and eventually took the lead for good in the top half of the 6th.
Trojan pitcher Rachel Rigney got the loss on Sunday, making her season record (8-9)
In game one of the Saturday doubleheader Troy defeated the Owls 4-3 and in game two the Trojans beat FAU yet again 5-1.
“I think our kids are going to use this as a learning moment,” Davis said. “We have got to do the little things that you need to do.”
The Trojans (18-20) hit the road to play Auburn on Wednesday, April 10.