While the rest of us were eating our chocolate and opening up cards on Valentine’s Day, the dedicated ladies of Troy’s softball team were opening their away season in Jacksonville, Fla. bright and early at 9 a.m. as they took on the University of Southern Illinois as their first competitors in the North Florida Invitational.
This opening game really gave the Lady Trojans an opportunity to strut their stuff as they emerged victorious 5-0 thanks to a phenomenal pitching game by sophomore Sara Mock. She was largely responsible for Southern Illinois only achieving three hits that game.
Although the hitting game got off to a rocky start, the Lady Trojans were on the board by the fifth inning, and by the sixth, the bats were hot with freshman Meg Willis coming in as a pinch hitter and knocking her second home run of the season.
The Trojans returned to the field at 11:15 a.m. to take on North Florida, where they encountered some very difficult pitching, and ultimately fell 3-0, taking their first loss of the tournament.
However, the Lady Trojans were not deterred, and the next day Saturday, Feb. 15, they returned to the field for another afternoon game against Savannah State.
This time, the team came to dominate, pulling out a 17-0 conquest that began in the bottom of the first when the Lady Trojans started off the game with three runs.
From there on out, they did not let up, bringing in five runs in the next inning, and then nine points in the third inning alone.
This game was also an opportunity for some new faces to grace the field, such as sophomore pitcher Rachel Rigney who made her debut, allowing Savannah State only one hit throughout the game’s entirety.
Later on that evening, however, the team took a hit as they fell to North Florida 5-2, bringing their record in the tournament to an even 2-2.
The game was marked by bittersweet disappointment as Troy began the game with the momentum from their previous victory. They took an early lead in the bottom of the first, which they turned into a tie at the bottom of the third.
It wasn’t enough as they were not able to hold onto their lead in play to follow.
On the final day of the tournament Sunday, Feb. 16, the Trojans faced a formidable opponent in Ohio, against whom they would take a heart wrenching loss, 5-4.
The end of the game was marked with devastation, thanks to a walk-off single in the seventh that finished up the Trojans. It was down to a battle of skills for the last inning where despite valiant efforts, it just wasn’t enough for Troy to bring home the win.
Despite the loss, it was a true battle on Troy’s part that rallied from a four point lead by Ohio in the bottom of the third to tie the score by the top of the sixth.
The Troy softball team will be in action next at the Lipton Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. where they will begin play against Georgia Southern at 10:15 a.m.