Despite having two games canceled, the Troy softball team exploded to a 3-0 start to the 2018 season in the Troy Classic tournament over the weekend before falling to Auburn 5-0 at home Wednesday in Troy’s ESPN3 debut.
The Trojan roster, which consists of seven freshmen this year, was led by College Sports Madness Sun Belt Player of the Week junior pitcher Peyton Glover. Glover picked up two wins in the circle for Troy and pitched her first career total shutout in the Trojans’ win over Alabama State on Friday.
The Trojans were originally scheduled to play five home games as part of their season-opening home invitational, but their final two games against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Tennessee State were canceled due to weather. Before that, however, Head Coach Beth Mullins’ team gave up just a single run on its way to three straight wins.
The first win came Friday afternoon against Tennessee State, which was dismantled early by sophomore first baseman Katie Webb’s four RBIs in the first two innings. The first was off a single up the middle that brought in junior left fielder Taylor Corbett, and the second was a double down the third-base line that brought in three runs.
Webb’s performance at the plate was followed up by freshman pinch hitter Kelly Horne, who batted in three runners in the bottom of the third inning to stretch the lead to 8-0. Horne finished with that one hit in two at-bats to go along with one run scored later in the third.
The Tigers got on the board in the fifth when second baseman Kasey Cox hit an RBI double, which made the score 9-1.
Because the Trojans were ahead by at least eight runs after five innings, the game was called early due to the NCAA softball run rule.
Troy immediately moved on to its next opponent in Alabama State and cruised to a 7-0 win in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader.
The Trojans once again got on the board thanks to a solo home run from Webb on a 2-2 pitch count. It was her first of three hits in the game out of four at-bats.
Troy took advantage of two errors from the visiting Hornets, scoring two of its three fifth-inning runs in unearned fashion. In the sixth, sophomore shortstop Logan Calhoun batted in another run and stole a base to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead, which it held through the seventh and final inning.
Glover pitched all seven innings for Troy, giving up just one hit and striking out a career-high 10 of the 22 batters she faced. Glover also forced nine fly-outs and two ground-outs in her 78 total pitches.
The Trojans stayed hot the next day as well, shutting out Valparaiso 7-0 in the first of two scheduled games on Saturday.
The first five innings flew by as neither team was able to generate much offense against the opposition’s pitching.
Calhoun finally broke the stalemate, however, as she scored Troy’s first run on a throwing error in the sixth inning. That run was followed by a two-run RBI single from Bailey Taylor that extended the lead to three runs.
The Crusaders continued to struggle offensively against another solid outing in the circle from Glover, who struck out four batters in her six innings pitched.
In the meantime, Troy’s bats continued to solidify the team’s lead.
Calhoun scored on a fielding error in the sixth inning, Taylor batted in two runners and Webb brought in another to make the final score 7-0.
Four days later, the Trojans played their last home game against No. 13 Auburn before going on a six-game road stretch.
While Troy dominated from start to finish in the Troy Classic, it was the exact opposite for the home team in this matchup.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a trio of unearned runs. Troy pitcher Claire Graves had no answer for the Tigers’ offense, which scored five runs off nine hits on the night.
RBI singles in the fourth and fifth innings extended Auburn’s lead to 5-0, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
The Trojans managed only four hits in the game, and never seemed to be able to get close enough to the Tigers to make a run at cutting into the deficit.
Troy will now look to bounce back from its first loss of the season on the road at the Arizona Tournament in Tucson, Arizona. The Trojans will play five games in the tournament before going on the road to play Samford in Birmingham.
Troy’s first game of the road stretch will be against Montana on Friday at 10 a.m.