Softball wins three, falls to Bama twice

(PHOTO/ Chris Wallace) After going 3-2 in the Troy University tournament, the Trojans now look ahead to the Citrus Classic, the first road matchup on the year. Troy is set to face Stetson, Missouri, UMass, LIU Brooklyn and Saint Joseph’s, with all games being played in Lake Buena Vista, FL starting on Friday, Feb. 15.
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Hanna Cooper

Staff Writer

The Trojan softball team opened its 2019 campaign by hosting Murray State, Maryland and Alabama in the Trojan Classic. Troy played five games throughout the weekend going 3-2, including a Saturday evening one-hitter. 

On Friday night, Troy split two games with a win over Maryland before dropping a game versus No. 9 Alabama. 

Against Maryland, with one out in the bottom of the fifth, Kelly Horne singled up the middle to kick start Troy’s late game rally.  Allie Miller checked in to pinch run and stole second, and Hope Hernandez drew a walk to load the bases. Bailey Taylor, who entered as a pinch hitter, put Troy on the board with a single through the left side of the infield to score Miller. Two batters later, Madeline Porter ripped a double over the center fielders’ head to score three runs to put Troy up 4-0.

Maryland battled back to within one in the home half of the sixth inning on a three-run home run but could not tie the game. Troy prevailed over Maryland 4-3. 

In game two of the Trojan Classic, Alabama took the lead for good with two home runs, although the Trojans cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth after Stephanie Synder laced a double to right-center field to score Taylor Corbett.

Alabama answered in the top of the fifth with two runs and added three more in the top of the seventh to pull away for the victory.

Troy bounced back on Saturday with a pair of wins over Maryland and Murray State. 

Against Maryland, Talia Truitt led off the first with a single up the middle, and Katie Webb singled through the left side to score Truitt, following a Murray State error. Stephanie Snyder doubled to right center to score two more, and Logan Calhoun followed with a single up the middle to plate Snyder and give Troy a five-run lead at the end of the first.

Maryland answered with a run of its own in the top of the second, but Troy came back with another big five-run inning in the third to clinch the win.

Troy then rallied past Murray State behind a dominant performance in the circle from freshman Leanna Johnson (2-0) who struck out nine Racer batters and allowed just one hit over seven innings of work.

Murray State broke a scoreless game in the top of the fifth with a triple to left field. However, the Trojans answered back with two runs in the home half of the inning.

Kaylee Chapman led off the decisive frame with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt following a line out. Madeline Porter skied a pop up in front of the plate which was misplayed by the Racers allowing the tying run to score. A second Murray State error on the play, an errant thrown trying to catch Porter at second base, allowed Porter to score the eventual winning run.

On Sunday, Troy fell to No. 9 Alabama in the Trojan Classic finale. 

Alabama (5-0) broke up a scoreless game with a seven-spot in the fourth inning. The Tide opened its big inning with a double followed by back-to-back singles to start the scoring. Another pair of singles with runners stretched Alabama’s lead to 7-0 at the end of the frame.

Troy capped off the weekend 3-2 with its only losses coming from No. 9 Alabama. Bailey Taylor came into pinch hit three times over the weekend and went 3-for-3 with three RBIs while freshman Leanna Johnson recorded 19 strikeouts in 16.1 innings of work. 

Next up, Troy heads to Orlando, Florida to compete in the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic. Troy’s first game will be Friday morning at 11 a.m. (CT) against Stetson.

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